Nigeria police find floating bodies

2013-01-20 15:37

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Lagos - Police in Nigeria have found at least 15 unidentified corpses floating on a river in southeast Anambra state, officials said Sunday, while local media said the number of bodies could be much higher.

"I don't know the exact number of bodies but I have seen at least 15 corpses floating on the river," Anambra police commissioner Bala Nasarawa said in a television interview after visiting the scene.

Some local media reports put the number of corpses at between 30 and 40.

Anamabra state police spokesperson, Emeka Chukwuemeka, told AFP on Sunday from the scene that "16 corpses or thereabouts were seen floating on the river. Evacuation of the corpses is about to start now."

It was unclear how the people had died or how their bodies ended up in the river. Nasarawa said police were investigating the mysterious case.

Television showed footage of what appeared to be male corpses in the Ezu river in Amansea, a border community between Anambra and neighbouring Enugu state.

Enugu police commissioner Musa Daura, who also visited the scene, said there had been no recent reports of communal clashes in the area.

Local reports said the corpses were first discovered on Saturday by fishermen and sand excavators, who alerted authorities.

Anamabra Governor Peter Obi who visited the scene on Sunday announced a reward of €24 000 for anybody who could provide useful information, Chukwuemeka said.

"The joint investigation by the police in the two neighbouring states will unravel the mystery. Communities around the river have not reported anybody missing yet," he said.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

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