150 drown at sea off Sierra Leone
The passengers aboard the motorised canoe, who may have numbered 200 even though such vessels are built for a maximum of 100 people, were returning to the fishing town of Tombo with fuel and provisions on Monday. They had fled fighting in the port last week.
The sinking is the third in a month, the Sierra Leone Boatmen's Union said. "The boat sank because it was overloaded with more than 200 people and was carrying 300 bags of sugar," a union official said.
Fighting in the small, diamond-rich country has increased since January as rebels challenging the elected president, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, have stepped up their offensive against Ecomog - Nigerian-led peace enforcers sent to support the country's democratic but militarily weak government.
Ecomog and the Sierra Leonean government have banned most shipping along the country's coast, for fear that Liberian-backed rebels will smuggle arms into the coastal capital, Freetown, aboard fishing canoes. Apart from a brief spell in December and January, the rebels have not succeeded in entering Freetown.
The only shipping allowed is by fishermen aboard small canoes, under armed guard from Ecomog. All other boats know they are in danger of being sunk by the peace enforcers.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...