21 DISPLACED PERSONS LOSE LIVES AS BOAT CAPSIZES IN SOKOTO

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Twenty-one internally displaced persons, otherwise known as IDPs, were killed when their boat capsized in an area which had been wrecked by deadly attacks of blamed cattle thieves in northern Nigeria.

The National Emergency Management Agency said on Friday, that the vessel carrying 50 passengers overturned in the strong currents  of a river in the Gandi District of Sokoto State around 10:00 am (0900 GMT) on Thursday.

The NEMA spokesman Suleiman Karim said that rescue teams recovered the bodies of 17 women and four children on board the overloaded boat.

Mr. Suleiman Karim said the other 29 passengers were lucky to had made it to the shore.

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The passengers were heading to Garin Kare village on the other side of the river to check on their homes, which they deserted following deadly raids last month by suspected cattle thieves on neighbouring villages.

Thousands of the villagers fled to a makeshift camp in Gandi town after the bandits’ attack, in which 32 people were killed and dozens of homes burnt.

Boat capsizes are common in Nigeria due to overcrowding and the lack of maintenance of vessels, particularly during the annual rainy season.

Last month, 22 traders were killed after their boat capsized in high winds in the Isa district of Sokoto state following a heavy downpour.

 

(AFP)

 


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