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WORLD: Rebels beat back Gadhafi forces at port

Rebels beat back Gadhafi forces at port

BREGA, Libya — Rebel forces routed troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in a fierce battle over an oil port Wednesday, scrambling over the dunes of a Mediterranean beach through shelling and an airstrike to corner their attackers. While they thwarted the regime’s first counteroffensive in eastern Libya, opposition leaders still pleaded for outside airstrikes against pro-government troops.

The attack on strategic Brega, 460 miles east of Gadhafi’s stronghold in Tripoli, illustrated the deep difficulties the Libyan leader’s armed forces — an array of militiamen, mercenaries and military units — have had in rolling back the uprising that has swept over the entire eastern half of Libya since Feb. 15.

In the capital of Tripoli, Gadhafi warned against U.S. or other Western intervention, vowing to turn Libya into ‘‘another Vietnam,’’ and saying any foreign troops coming into his country ‘‘will be entering hell and they will drown in blood.’’

Two killed in Yemen clashes

SANAA, Yemen — Security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of anti-government protesters in south Yemen on Wednesday, killing two demonstrators, a medical official and witnesses said.

The deaths occurred during protests in the town of Sadr in Lahaj province, a hospital official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Witnesses said security forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, who responded by setting three of police vehicles on fire.

Chile blames mine owners for accident

SANTIAGO, Chile — A Chilean congressional commission on Wednesday found two mine owners responsible for the accident that trapped 33 men a half-mile underground for 69 days last year.

The commission’s report, which is expected to be approved by the lower house on today, said members unanimously found Alejandro Bohn and Marcelo Kemeny responsible for the collapse that trapped the men deep inside the San Jose mine, whose veins of copper and gold had been pursued for more than 100 years in poorly reinforced tunnels under the Atacama desert in northern Chile.