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South Korea vows retaliation if North attacks

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's president vowed a relentless retaliation against North Korea if provoked again, saying Monday he is not afraid of a war with the communist North.

The two Koreas have ramped up their rhetoric since North Korea shelled front-line Yeonpyeong Island near the tense western sea border last month, killing four South Koreans. Both sides accuse each other of provoking first.

On Monday, President Lee Myung-bak used much of his regular address to vow to get tougher with any new provocation by North Korea.

"We have now been awakened to the realization that war can be prevented and peace assured only when such provocations are met with a strong response," Lee said. "Fear of war is never helpful in preventing war."

U.N.: 14,000 people flee Ivory Coast chaos

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — West African leaders are giving the man who refuses to leave Ivory Coast's presidency a final chance to hand over power and are threatening to remove Laurent Gbagbo by force if needed, though doubts exist about whether the operation could be carried out.

Meanwhile, the U.N. refugee agency said at least 14,000 people have fled the violence and political chaos in Ivory Coast, some walking for up to four days with little food to reach neighboring Liberia. At least one child drowned while trying to cross a river.

The U.N. has said at least 173 people have been killed in violence over the disputed presidential runoff election held nearly one month ago, heightening fears that the country once divided in two could return to civil war.

Attacks kill pastor, others in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Dozens of armed men attacked the church, dragging the pastor out of his home and shooting him to death. Two young men from the choir rehearsing for a late-night carol service also were slain.

The group of about 30 attackers armed with guns and knives even killed two people passing by Victory Baptist Church. The assailants only left after setting the church and pastor's house ablaze.

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