A boat transporting 200 people to Saudi Arabia burst into flames off the coast of Sudan, leaving only three survivors

Nearly 200 migrants fleeing the drought in Somalia ran into catastrophe four hours into their voyage when the boat that was transporting them from Sudan burst into flames.

So far only three survivors have been found and as many as 197 people are feared drowned.

The boat was carrying what officials believe to be Somalian migrants, fleeing the worst drought in the region in 60 years and the subsequent violence that surrounds it.

Four Yemenis who own the boat, which was illegally transporting people across the border, have been arrested.

The boat was headed for Saudi Arabia, and is unlikely to have been seaworthy, or capable of safely transporting that number of passengers. A similar attempt to smuggle some 247 passengers had previously been foiled by authorities.