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36 killed in Togo boat tragedy

LOME, May 9 – Seven boats capsized in a storm in the West African nation of Togo, leaving at least 36 people dead, a police source said on Monday, as authorities searched for more victims.

"Up to 8:00 pm last night, 36 bodies have been recovered," said a police source in Aneho in the country\’s south near Lake Togo, where the accidents occurred on Sunday afternoon.

"There were a total of seven boats, including one main one transporting the largest number. The six others were small skiffs."

Reports on a private radio station spoke of the same number of deaths.

The victims were returning from a funeral in the village of Ekpui. They were from Togo-Kome, with the lake dividing the two villages some 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the capital Lome.

"We don\’t know how many people were on board the boats and searches are continuing," the police source said, adding there were survivors though he could not say how many.

The large lake — technically a lagoon — is located near the country\’s coast and the Gulf of Guinea, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean.

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