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The World Today

Lao defense chief, 4 others killed in plane crash

BANGKOK — A military plane carrying senior Laotian government officials crashed Saturday as it approached an airport in the country’s northeast, killing at least five people, including the defense minister and other high-ranking members of the country’s ruling party. About 18 people were believed to be on board the plane, which left Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Saturday morning to bring the group to an official ceremony in Xiangkhoung province, about 290 miles away.

BANGLADESH

54 bodies found after ferry sinks

MUNSHIGANJ — Rescuers have recovered 54 bodies from a ferry that sank in a river during a storm in central Bangladesh, resuming their search Saturday. Officials said 12 people were still unaccounted for. There has been confusion over how many were aboard the ferry when it sank Thursday in the River Meghna.

BOSNIA

Thousands flee massive flooding

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MAGLAJ — Packed into buses, boats, and helicopters, tens of thousands fled their homes Saturday in Bosnia and Serbia to escape the worst flooding in a century. Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sending people onto rooftops for rescue. Hundreds were evacuated in Croatia. Authorities said 20 people have died but warned the death toll could rise.

YEMEN

Military retakes terror stronghold

SANA — Yemen’s military said Saturday it had regained control of an Al Qaeda stronghold in the south as part of an ongoing offensive. The military said the fighting that saw it take over the town of Azzan in Shabwa province killed seven militants and two soldiers.

LIBYA

Flights banned over Benghazi

TRIPOLI— Libya’s military on Saturday banned flights over Benghazi, a day after troops loyal to a rogue general attacked Islamist militias in violence that killed 36 people in the eastern city. The government has described the offensive by General Khalifa Hifter, as tantamount to a ‘‘coup.”

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