updated 4/28/2008 2:37:46 PM ET 2008-04-28T18:37:46

Eleven children drowned in the Nile in separate incidents while celebrating the country's spring festival, which dates back to the Pharaonic era, Egypt's official news agency said Monday.

Six of the children died just south of the world-famous ancient Egyptian monuments of Luxor when their sailboat capsized. Three other minors drowned while swimming near the southern town of Sohag.

Two teenagers drowned in the northern town of Menoufia, also while swimming in the Nile.

Egyptian families celebrate the Shem al-Nessim (literally "smell the breeze") spring festival by coloring eggs and going to parks to have picnics.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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