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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 11:06 GMT
'Scores dead' from Cameroon boat
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At least 21 people have died and many more are missing after a boat capsized off Cameroon on its way to Nigeria.

The large motorised canoe, carrying some 100 people and lots of cargo, had just started on its trip from Tiko to Oron in Nigeria when it overturned.

Eighteen survivors have been found, an official said. Most of the dead are thought to be Nigerian traders.

A BBC correspondent says the route is a major trade link between the two countries, as the roads are so bad.

One local newspaper reports that 60 corpses have already been buried in three mass graves.

After visiting Tiko, Nigerian Consul-General John Abuhulimen told the BBC's Omer Songwe that he believed the boat had been overloaded before it capsized.

A Nigerian trader who regularly uses such canoes said they were often overloaded.

Mr Abuhulimen said that 18 people had been rescued, while 21 bodies had been found.

Tiko is some 20km south of the Cameroon town of Limbe.

The canoe was also carrying four cars when it capsized early on Sunday morning.




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