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PAKISTAN

Torrential rain kills hundreds

KARACHI — Torrential rains deluged this southern port city, collapsing mud homes, snapping power lines and killing at least 228 persons, officials said yesterday.

Karachi residents angry after a night without electricity to run fans or air conditioners in the sweltering summer heat staged street protests, Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal said.

The casualty figures from yesterday’s storms rose after 185 more bodies were counted in the city morgue, said Sardar Ahmed, health minister for Sindh province.

SUDAN

Rice seeks action on Darfur genocide

PARIS — The world has failed in its duty to end the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday as she welcomed the fresh energy that France’s new conservative-led government has put to the cause.

She called the four-year-old conflict “one of the true humanitarian disasters that we face in international politics, and one the international community has simply got to act more quickly and more responsibly to stop.”

Miss Rice also welcomed a summit between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Egypt, classifying Arab support for embattled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas more important than his Western backing. She acknowledged the difficulties that Mr. Abbas has faced since his Islamic rival, Hamas, won Palestinian elections last year.

“Democracy is hard,” she told reporters at a press conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

Miss Rice was in Paris for two days of meetings with the new French government and a strategy session on Darfur.

Mr. Kouchner organized the Darfur conference to speed deployment of about 20,000 peacekeeping troops to Darfur, a region where an estimated 200,000 have died in fighting between African rebels and militias backed by the Sudanese government.

AFGHANISTAN

Civilian deaths rise with coalition offensive

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