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FELIX TURNS FATAL AS 2 BOYS DROWN IN RAGING OCEAN

The father wept softly, his small daughter brushing away the tears as he reproached himself for letting his sons wade in hurricane-churned surf that pulled them to their deaths.

"I told them not to go into the water, but they must have thought that meant don't go swimming," Akram Abdul-Majeed said Friday. "I should have made sure they knew what I meant."His sons, 13-year-old Jaleel and 11-year-old Hafiz, were in knee-deep water at Point Pleasant Beach Thursday when they were knocked down by a strong current and swept away.

Their father ran into the water after them but had to be rescued himself.

"I tried to save them but couldn't. The current was too vicious," Abdul-Majeed said.

His sons were among at least nine people killed or presumed dead in the tempest brewed by Hurricane Felix. Three died in North Carolina, one in Virginia and three in New Jersey. Two of the bodies had yet to be recovered, one in Maryland and Jaleel's.