Rescue workers have recovered nine more bodies from the Tigris River in northern Iraq a day after a ferry packed with holidaymakers sank there, leaving dozens dead and missing.
The latest retrieval raises to 109 the number of bodies that have been recovered since the boat capsized in the Tigris near the northern city of Mosul on Thursday, according to official figures.
The nine recovered on Friday included five women, three men and a child, police sources told German news agency dpa.
Earlier, health authorities in the northern province of Nineveh said at least 100 people had been killed in the accident.
Rescue teams are finding it hard to pull out more bodies thought to have been dragged away by fast-flowing waters, witnesses said.
The boat sank while it was carrying people celebrating Nowruz, which marks the Kurdish New Year.
The tragedy, which took place near the tourist island of Umm Rabaen north of Mosul, is believed to have been caused by overcrowding on the ship.
Angry protesters on Friday prevented the convoy of Nineveh governor Nofal al-Akoub from reaching the site of the disaster, witnesses said.
The protesters chanted slogans targeting the official and alleged a lack of safety measures on the vessel.
Iraqi President Barham Salih arrived in Mosul on Friday too meet with local officials and called those behind the accident to be brought to justice, local media reported.
A similar call was made by Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric Ali al-Sistani.
"We are calling for disclosing the circumstances of what happened and holding to account those responsible for this tragic accident," he said in a sermon read out on his behalf by representative Ahmed al-Safi in a mosque in Karbala.
"This painful accident points to a major flaw in the administrative and monitoring system as part of rife corruption in the country," he added.
Some families of victims blamed local authorities.
"Responsibility lies on the shoulders of the local government and the police as they neglected overseeing operators of the tourist island, who had not taken any measures over the high levels of water in the Tigris," said Saeed Marwan, a local man who lost six members of his family in the tragedy.
"The ferry also lacked in safety standards," he added, in remarks to media.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi has declared three days of national mourning.
Australian Associated Press