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At least 13 people have drowned after a small wooden boat, believed to have been carrying about 70 Indonesian migrants, sank in the Malacca Strait early Thursday, Malaysian officials said. The vessel went down in choppy waters off Malaysia's western coast near the coastal town of Sabak Bernam in central Selangor state, Mohamad Aliyas Hamdan, the local head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, told AFP. "We are not sure if the migrants were attempting to land in Malaysia or trying to leave Malaysia illegally," Aliyas said, describing the sinking as the worst boat tragedy so far this year.
BAMAKO (Reuters) - At least 18 people died when a pirogue carrying passengers on the River Niger in central Mali capsized on Wednesday, said a spokesman for the country's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. There were four missing and 70 survivors from the accident that took place around 5 a.m. (0500 GMT) in the rural community of Deboye in Mopti region's Bangou locality, spokesman Sounkolo Togola told Reuters. A security source said overcrowding was a likely cause. ...
By Makini Brice DAKAR (Reuters) - Papa Demba Sow left Senegal two years ago hoping to make a better life in the oil-rich central African country of Gabon but in July he was arrested by police, thrown in jail for a month and deported along with hundreds of other Africans. Gabon, whose oil reserves have given its 1.5 million people amongst the highest per-capita income in Africa, has long been a magnet for migrants from countries like Senegal, an arid West African state with a tradition of emigration dating back decades. Sow, a 33-year-old welder, went to Gabon to join family members already living there but said it had become extremely hard to obtain residency.