More children’s bodies found in Nigeria boat tragedy

Five more victims of a boat accident involving women and children fleeing armed gang violence in central Nigeria have been found.

The head of the Niger state emergency agency, Ahmad Ibrahim Inga, told the BBC the bodies of four children and one man were found on Thursday.

Now a total of 13 people have been confirmed dead in the boat tragedy – 10 of them children. Their burials have taken place.

The victims, all from the village of Galkogo in Niger state, were fleeing a deadly attack by gunmen on their community on Tuesday.

Their boat then capsised on a major river. Some managed to escape.

Officials said the boat capsised because it was weak and overloaded with people .

Armed gangs, locally known as bandits, have stepped up attacks in northern Nigeria displacing nearly a million people and perpetrating mass kidnapping for ransom. .

At least seven bodies were recovered and about a dozen people were missing after a boat carrying mostly women and children capsised in north-central Nigeria on Wednesday, residents said.

Two residents in Guni village in Niger state said the passengers on the boat were trying to escape from gunmen who had attacked their village in the Munya local government area.

Guni resident, Kabiru Musa, told Reuters by phone that his wife and 7-year-old child were among more than 20 people who boarded the wooden boat and were missing.

“When we heard information that armed bandits were heading to our village, we immediately put our families on a boat in order to escape. Unfortunately, their boat capsised in the middle of the river,” he said.

Waziri Mu’azu, a primary school teacher, who was part of the rescue team, said the victims were crossing to the other side of the Guni-Zumba River when the boat capsised. Seven bodies had been recovered so far, he said.

A Niger police spokesman did not respond to calls and text messages on his phone seeking comment. –BBC/Reuters

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