Hundreds of U. N. peacekeeping troops stormed a stronghold of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's supporters yesterday, seeking control of areas that have become flashpoints...
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Hundreds of U.N. peacekeeping troops stormed a stronghold of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s supporters yesterday, seeking control of areas that have become flashpoints of violence. At least four people were killed.
Shootouts broke out between residents and U.N. troops who rolled into Cite Soleil before dawn, said Damian Onses-Cardona, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission.
At least six people were shot in the slum yesterday, including a 26-year-old woman, a 16-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, all injured during gunfire between peacekeepers and residents.
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Violence has plagued Cite Soleil, a slum outside Port-au-Prince, since September, when Aristide loyalists increased protests to demand his return from exile in South Africa.
Since Aristide fled the country Feb. 29 amid a three-week rebellion, Haiti’s U.S.-backed government has struggled to stem violence committed by gangsters, pro-Aristide gangs, anti-Aristide gangs and former soldiers who led the revolt. The ex-soldiers have grown frustrated with the government, which has yet to formally reinstate the army.
The rebels include members of the army Aristide disbanded in 1994. The ex-soldiers have refused to lay down their weapons and want back pay for 10 years.