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Mayor: Boat carrying hundreds of people on Mali river sinks; at least 20 bodies recovered

The mayor of a town in central Mali says a boat carrying hundreds of passengers has capsized on the Niger River and dozens are missing.

Konna Mayor Sory Diakite told The Associated Press on Saturday that 20 bodies had been recovered by midday.

Diakkite said it is believed that at least 400 passengers had been on board and about 200 survivors had been accounted for.

It was not immediately possible to contact survivors, though one man in Bamako said he had been notified that two of his relatives had drowned.

The boat was traveling along the river from Mopti to the northern town of Timbuktu when it capsized late Friday about seven kilometers from Konna.

Large boats carry hundreds of passengers on the Niger River at this time of year.