, MOGADISHU, May 15 – A capsized ferry off the coast of southern Somalia claimed the lives of at least 15 people on Thursday, local elders said.
The ship, which was carrying passengers and basic goods to small inhabited islands between the southern port city of Kismayo and the fishing town of Ras Kamboni, capsized in the afternoon.
"Fifteen of the 40 people on board have been confirmed dead and we are still searching for the rest," said Abdullahi Jamaa Madode, head of the local fishermen’s union.
"Three people have been found alive," he told AFP.
Mohamed Ade Yusuf, another elder in Kismayo, gave the same death toll and said that the bodies of the 15 had been brought back to shore.
"We are unsure of the fate of the other passengers," he said.