Boat carrying pilgrims capsizes off Pakistan, 14 dead

18 people drowned as boat capsized at Thatta

Around 80 pilgrims, including women and children, were on their way to a shrine 'mela' (fair) when their boat capsized in the open sea, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Thatta Haseeb Afzal said, adding that the boat was overloaded with passengers.

He says a search and rescue operation is underway.

Officials said devotees from the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad, and Thatta were heading to the shrine of a Sufi saint, Pir Patha, which is highly revered among Bohra Muslims, a community concentrated in Karachi and other cities in Sindh Province. The number of dead are believed to be 15 at the moment, while 15 people have also been rescued and taken to the hospital in an unconscious state.

The death bodies were shifted to Sheikh Zaid Hospital, Sakro.

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The ill-fated boat - which carried over 100 passengers, including women and children - overturned due to heavy winds coupled with rough seas some 3.2 nautical miles (6 kilometers) from the village of Bohara, local ARY News reported.

The boat, ferrying the devotees to shrine of Meenhan Pathai in the sea in union council Bohara, was carrying over 60 people, survivors, local fishermen and boatmen claimed. He said there were almost 100 passengers on board at the time.

A rescue operation for those missing in Thursday's boat capsize tragedy near Thatta resumed Friday morning, with divers from the Pakistan Navy also taking part in the operation.

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