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Rain, Sandstorms Kill at Least 31 in Egypt

An Egyptian fisherman in his boat on the Nile river, during a dust storm in Cairo, Egypt, Dec 12, 2010

Egyptian officials say rain and sandstorms that battered the country for several days have killed at least 31 people.

The hardest-hit areas were in northern Egypt, where the storms brought heavy rains and wind.

At least 13 of the deaths came in a six-story factory building collapse in the northern port city of Alexandria. Building collapses blamed on poor construction and failure to follow building rules are relatively frequent in Egypt.

Officials said Monday they had reopened ports on the Red Sea, which had been closed because of the storms.

Officials also blamed the weather for poor visibility that led to traffic accidents.