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Nearly 200 people die in boat fire off Sudan

By Isma'il Kushkush for CNN
  • The boat was bound for Saudi Arabia
  • All the victims were "refugees" from neighboring countries, SMC says
  • Sudan
  • Red Sea
  • Africa
  • Saudi Arabia

Khartoum, Sudan (CNN) -- A total of 197 people died Tuesday after the boat carrying them caught fire in the Red Sea off Sudan, the state-run Sudanese Media Center reported.

Three people survived the fire, which burned for four hours, it said.

The boat, which was headed for Saudi Arabia, was carrying no known Sudanese; all the victims were "refugees" from "neighboring countries," it said.

The news organization, citing unidentified sources, said four Yemeni owners of the boat were arrested and the boat was confiscated.