Africa

Comoros boat sinks leaving many dead

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At least 30 people have died after their boat sank off the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros, officials say.

The accident happened south of the main island of Grande Comore after the boat had set off to Anjouan island.

A rescue official put the toll at 30 but the country's public prosecutor was quoted as saying 50 bodies had been recovered.

Boat accidents are common in the Comoros - and boats are often overcrowded.

Engine failure?

They are a popular form of transport between the islands - and sometimes carry would-be migrants from the islands of the Comoros to a fellow island in the archipelago, Mayotte, which voted to remain the territory of France and is economically better off.

Both public prosecutor Soilih Mahmoud and Red Crescent rescue co-ordinator Arfachad Salim told news agencies it was believed about 100 people had been on board when the vessel sank late on Monday.

Another rescue official said 50 people had survived, but many remained unaccounted for.

Mr Mahmoud said the boat capsized after its engines failed and it hit rocks.

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