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Tourists evacuated ahead of forest fires

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE — More than 11,000 people were forced to evacuate yesterday in the Canary Islands as firefighters struggled to extinguish fires on two of the archipelago’s popular tourist islands.

About 6,000 people were evacuated from homes on Tenerife, where fires have burned 11,000 acres of forest on the western part of the island since Monday, said Paulino Rivero, president of the Canary Islands regional government.


Villagers flee Tamil Tiger attacks

VAVUNIYA — Hundreds of ethnic Sinhalese civilians fled three villages in northern Sri Lanka yesterday, claiming the government had failed to protect them from attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels, locals said.

About 350 men, women and children fled the small villages in Vavuniya district and sought shelter at a school, village head G. Premasiri said.

Vavuniya is an ethnic Tamil-majority district in northern Sri Lanka, and many Sinhalese villages are in its southern parts.

From wire dispatches and staff reports