Toll rises in Djibouti boat disaster

Rescuers in Djibouti found 41 more bodies from an overloaded boat that sank two days ago, bringing the death toll to 113 in one of the Red Sea nation's worst disasters.

    The sinking is one of the country's worst recent tragedies

    The bodies were pulled out of the water on Saturday near the port in Djibouti, where the wooden boat capsized on Thursday carrying about 250 people to an annual religious pilgrimage.

    Colonel Zachariah Ahmed Sheikh, the Djiboutian army officer in charge of the rescue, said: "We got these bodies because the water is calm." Hospital officials confirmed the new toll.

    Djiboutian rescuers, with divers and equipment from the American and French military and a helicopter, found the bodies after resuming the search when dawn broke.

    All day, rescuers plucked more corpses from the water and the search continued even when rain - a relatively rare occurrence in Djibouti - fell in the afternoon.

    The victims died within 100 metres of the dock. It was steaming to the town of Tadjoura, 35km northeast. It had three times the number of passengers it was built for crammed aboard.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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