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30 dead, up to 160 missing after Mali boat sinking

Sunday - 10/13/2013, 11:00am  ET

KOUBI, Mali (AP) -- Survivors of a boat that sank in central Mali say as many as 160 people are missing more than a day later.

The vessel traveling from Mopti to the northern town of Timbuktu broke apart late Friday while passengers were sleeping onboard.

Yaya Tikambo, a representative of the boat company at the scene, said Sunday that 30 bodies had been retrieved from the Niger River.

However, survivors and a local official said it is believed that some 400 people were onboard.

Ibrahim Yattara, 29, whose pregnant wife is missing, said passengers woke up to a loud sound and the boat soon broke into two pieces.

Many of those traveling to Timbuktu were schoolchildren returning for class. Others were headed home for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

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