A boat carrying passengers to a religious festival capsized as it left Djibouti's main harbour yesterday, killing at least 69 people.
The ferry was transporting up to 300 people to the northern town of Tadjourah when it overturned and sank in the Red Sea shortly after midday. Ismael Tani, an adviser to Djibouti's president, told the Associated Press that the death toll was expected to rise.
The victims were taken to Tapelletier hospital, where officials said that 36 people had been admitted with injuries. More than 70 were reported to have survived, and at least 20 were still unaccounted for.
Local television reports suggested that the traditional wooden boat had been carrying between 250 and 300 people, all from Djibouti, to a religious ceremony scheduled for today.