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More than 30 Somali refugees have been killed in an attack on a boat off the coast of Yemen.

Yemen's official news agency says two missiles fired by Houthi rebels struck a mosque in an army camp, killing 22 troops and wounding several others.

Images from the scene showed the vessel, which was near the Bab al-Mandeb strait, strewn with bodies.

In Geneva, IOM spokesman Joel Millman told reporters that he was unable to confirm news reports indicating that an Apache helicopter gunship was responsible for the attack.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.

In general, the coalition is in charge of Yemen's airspace, although no comment has been made by the Saudi coalition despite claims by the rebel-controlled Saba agency that the refugees were attacked from the air by the coalition. The International Organization for Migration, which has operations in Yemen, said 42 bodies had been recovered.

A port official in Hodeida, held by Shia Houthi rebels, confirmed the toll.

The conflict began when the Shia Houthis, supported by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and allies, seized the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014, overthrowing Saudi-backed President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government. Although details are still unconfirmed, it appears that a number of Somali refugees were among those killed or injured.

It is not known how many people were killed or injured in Thursday's incident.

Mohammed was not hurt in the attack.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said 140 passengers were believed to have been aboard the vessel.

Despite more than two years of fighting in Yemen, African migrants continue to arrive in the war-torn country, where there is no central authority to prevent them from travelling onward to a better life in neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Another 25 wounded people, including some who had lost arms and legs, were brought to the hospital, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.