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May 29, 2017

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At least 30 dead in flooding in Bosnia, Serbia

BELGRADE--The heaviest rains in more than a century have sparked floods across Bosnia and Serbia, claiming at least 30 lives and leading to the evacuation so far of more than 16,000 from flooded villages, officials said Saturday.

"More than 20 corpses have so far been brought to the city's morgue," the mayor of the northern Bosnian town Doboj, Obren Petrovic, told Bosnia's FTV public broadcaster.

Another victim drowned in the town of Samac, police chief Gojko Vasic was quoted by Fena news agency as saying.

And the bodies of two elderly women were found in the town of Maglaj after the waters withdrew, the civil protection chief there told reporters.

Four flood victims had been found in Bosnia and three in Serbia on Friday.

And the death toll could rise. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters that "rescuers have started recovering dead bodies from flooded areas, but we will not make the number public before the complete withdrawal of the water."

Hardest hit has been the town of Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers north of Belgrade, where the entire town is now being evacuated amid warnings of more flooding, Predrag Maric of the emergency services said.

Reporters were banned from entering the town, but a local television channel broadcast footage from a helicopter showing that most of the city was flooded, with water swamping the lower floors of six-story buildings.

Water defenses gave way outside Obrenovac near a power plant that produces about half of Serbia's electricity, prompting authorities to urge citizens to limit their use of electricity.

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