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44 dead as ferry capsizes in Tanzania

Gorkha Post

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TANZANIA — At least 44 people were killed after a passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria in Tanzania, official said late Thursday.

Thirty-seven people were rescued after the sinking Thursday afternoon, Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella told The Associated Press.

The death toll was expected to rise when rescue efforts resumed at daybreak.

According to local media, the exact number of those on board was not known as the boat was believed to be carrying people beyond the stipulated capacity. The ferry was thought to be carrying between 400 to 500 people.

The ferry overturned between the two islands in Lake Victoria, which is the largest lake in Africa, passing through Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

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Emergency response teams pulled 37 people out of the water during rescue operations, which was stopped due to poor visibility.

Regional Commissioner John Mongella told local Tanzania television channel ITV that the rescue operations would resume in the morning.

The Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency, in charge of servicing the vessels, urged patience in a statement as rescue efforts began.

The ferry was traveling between Ukara and Bugolora and capsized near the area of Mwanza, the agency said.

Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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