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MANAMA (Reuters) - A passenger boat carrying some 150 tourists sank in a harbour in Bahrain on Thursday and the country's interior minister said at least 44 people drowned.
Witnesses put the death toll higher, saying at least 48 bodies were brought ashore.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashed bin Abdullah al-Khalifa said: "The operations are continuing, and up to this time we have 52 rescued and 44 dead."
The vessel was believed to have taken out the tourists for a short tour of the Gulf, a hospital source said.
"I have seen at least 48 bodies," said a resident, speaking by telephone from outside a port in the island state.
The official news agency BNA said 60 passengers had been rescued and taken to hospitals
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- At least 63 passengers were rescued -- and the bodies of 51 others recovered -- after a passenger ferry carrying about 135 people on a company outing capsized and sank Thursday night in a narrow channel off the Bahrain coast, officials said.
"We're still not really sure about the nationalities," said Tariq Hassan, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. He added that an investigation will be conducted into the sinking, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET).
Information Minister Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar said he estimates that the passengers included 25 Britons, 10 South Africans, 20 Filipinos, 10 Egyptians and 10 Bahrainis.