23 missing in Mali boat tragedy

2013-10-13 12:20

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Mopti - Twenty people died, including 15 young children, when a boat on the Niger River broke up overnight near the central Malian city of Mopti, officials said on Saturday, adding that another 23 people were missing.

"We don't know yet why the boat broke up," Commander Dramane Diallo, from the rescue services, told AFP.

"Investigations are under way. The boat broke at the stern" in a branch of the river near the village of Koubi, some 70km north of the regional capital Mopti, and 210 passengers survived the accident, he said.

Senior civil protection official, commander Naman Keita, confirmed the latest toll, adding that 15 children aged under five were among the recovered bodies.

The search for survivors and more victims was suspended overnight and would resume Sunday morning, he added.

Diallo said the large dugout was also loaded with goods. No further details were immediately available.

The governor of Mopti said the Malian rescue services were assisted by residents of Koubi and passing boats.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

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