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WORLD: Protesters die in Libya clash

Protesters die in Libya clash

CAIRO — Libyan protesters seeking to oust longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi defied a crackdown and took to the streets in five cities Thursday on what activists have dubbed a ‘‘day of rage,’’ amid reports at least 20 demonstrators have been killed in clashes with pro-government groups.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said Libyan internal security forces also have arrested at least 14 people. Hundreds of pro-government demonstrators also rallied in the capital, Tripoli, blocking traffic in some areas, witnesses said.

An opposition website and an anti-Gadhafi activist said unrest broke out during marches in four Libyan cities — Beyida, Benghazi, Zentan, Rijban and Darnah. Organizers were using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to call for nationwide demonstrations.

12 die after tour boat sinks

HA LONG BAY, Vietnam — Italian traveler Stefano Corda felt an ominous tilt as dinner was served, but his tour boat crew assured him everything was fine. A few hours later, Corda and his friend jumped for their lives into Vietnam’s famed Ha Long Bay as water raced inside the wooden vessel, sucking it down and killing 12 people from nine countries.

Vacationers from the U.S., Britain, Australia, Japan, Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland died along with their Vietnamese tour guide Thursday in Vietnam’s deadliest tour boat accident since the country opened to foreign visitors 25 years ago. All were sleeping on the overnight ship, which was anchored in about 30 feet of water near a small island.

Nine foreigners and six Vietnamese survived only by flinging themselves overboard and swimming to other tour boats anchored nearby.

Safety problem plagues Egypt

CAIRO — Families in quiet Cairo suburbs are investing heavily in locks and steel doors. Fake checkpoints set up by hardened criminals who escaped prisons terrorize travelers on highways. Thousands of looted firearms have flooded the black market.

Egypt’s political upheaval has been followed by an unprecedented breakdown of security, with few police on the streets and the army unable to fill the vacuum. Some Egyptians are already nostalgic for Hosni Mubarak’s police state.