Free Gaza activists turn back with engine troubles

A group of protesters, doctors and lawmakers abandoned a bid to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and returned to Cyprus on Monday after their boat experienced engine trouble, a Free Gaza spokeswoman said. Karin Pally told The Associated Press that a generator blew three hours into the 24-hour trip, forcing the 66-foot (20-meter), Greek-flagged vessel to return to port in Larnaca. This was the second time the activists have tried to reach Gaza since Israel began its assault on December 27 in response to rocket fire on Israeli cities. Protesters from the Free Gaza group tried to break Israel's blockade on the region late last month, but its boat collided with an Israeli vessel and turned back.