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Guinea: 15 dead as boat carrying wedding guests capsizes



At least 15 people have died in the West African state of Guinea after an overcrowded dugout canoe sank off the north coast, local officials said on Monday.

The group had been travelling to a wedding on an island near Kanfarande when their boat capsized, said a naval officer stationed in Boke, a city some 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the east.

The officer added that an unknown number of people had been aboard the boat, with the navy brought out 15 bodies from the ocean on Monday.

“We can’t tell you how many people are still in the water,” he told AFP.
An official at Kanfarande town hall who gave his name only as Rica said the authorities do not yet know how many are missing.

“We are in shock,” he said.

Dugout canoes — or “pirogues” — are a common form of transport between towns along the intricate coastline of northern Guinea and neighbouring Guinea-Bissau.

But accidents aboard these traditional wooden vessels are common.
An official working in Boke’s regional government, who declined to be named, said the canoe left when the tide was high and the sea was choppy.

A search operation is ongoing, he added.

(AFP)

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