Los Angeles Times

'We're not alive, we're not dead': Thousands of migrants are trapped in war-torn Yemen

ATAQ, Yemen — It was a serene spot for a makeshift graveyard; the migrant smuggler had chosen well.

The sand-swept field just outside this city was far enough from the highway to be quiet but not so far as to be inaccessible. It had eight graves — shallow rock mounds, their headstones spray-painted with blue scrawl — overlooking a mountain landscape.

"I had to put them here because no one would accept them in any other cemetery," said Ahmad Dabisi, a 29-year-old human smuggler whose boyish looks belie the seriousness of his trade.

For the eight people buried here — all of them his clients — the field was the final stop in a country that was only ever supposed to be a waystation. Spurred by poverty or conflict, they and tens of thousands of other migrants left their homes in East Africa — despite coronavirus restrictions — with Saudi Arabia

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