Nearly 200 feared dead in boat accident off Sudan

09:40, July 06, 2011      

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Some 200 African migrants were feared to have been killed when their boat sank Tuesday off Sudan's coast, a Sudanese news agency reported.

The vessel, launched from Sudan's Red Sea State to Saudi Arabia, had sailed for hours in Sudanese waters before a fire broke out and caused it to sink in the Red Sea, according to the Sudanese Media Center (SMC).

Among the 200 African migrants on board, only three were rescued and the rest were feared to have drowned, the SMC said, adding that local authorities were still searching for possible survivors.

Four Yemenis who were believed to own the boat had been arrested, according to the report.

The SMC also reported that authorities had foiled in the same region another attempt to smuggle 247 migrants, mostly from Chad, Nigeria, Somalia and Eritrea.

Sudan is plagued by human trafficking, and recent years have seen several tragedies of illegal migrants drowning off the country's coast on their way to nearby countries.

Source: Xinhua
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