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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tourist Boat Sinks Near Bahrain

A tourist boat carrying up to 150 people sank Thursday night in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Bahrain, and at least 44 bodies had been recovered, the country’s interior minister said.

Interior Minister Sheik Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said at least 52 people had been rescued.

The passengers were thought to be a mix of Bahrainis, nationals of other Gulf Arab nations and Westerners. Health Minister Nada Haffadh told al-Arabiya television that survivors who arrived at hospitals included nationals of India, South Africa, Singapore and Britain.

The Interior Minister, who is in charge of security, said most of the ferry's passengers were employees of a Bahrain-based company and that they came from several nationalities.

The British Foreign Office in London said it was "very likely" the ship was carrying British passengers.

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