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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 04:29 GMT
Haiti clashes mar Dominican talks
Protesters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
On the streets protesters vented anti-Dominican feelings
Several people have been injured in Haiti in clashes with police during a protest rally against a visit by the president of the Dominican Republic.

Hundreds of people threw rocks and burned tyres in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where Leonel Fernandez held talks with top Haitian leaders.

His visit came amid anger in Haiti that Haitians have been mistreated after crossing into the Dominican Republic.

Before leaving, Mr Fernandez pledged to act to prevent such abuses.

But he also indicated that mass deportations of Haitians - who look for work in the more affluent Dominical Republic - would continue.

Dominican police had earlier played down reports that 10 Haitian migrants were murdered in a Dominican village.


Protesters greeted Mr Fernandez outside the National Palace, as he was preparing for talks on immigration and border security.

The crowd chanted: "Fernandez, racist, stop murdering Haitians,"

Many were also angry at forced evictions and Mr Fernandez's recent description of Haiti as a "danger to the world".

The crowd later began throwing rocks and setting tyres alight as Mr Fernandez's motorcade was about to leave the capital.

In response, Haitian police fired automatic weapons in the air, attempting to disperse the crowd.

During the talks, Mr Fernandez said his country deplored "any act of violence between Dominicans and Haitians".

He also announced that the two countries would sign a three-way pact with Colombia in an effort to fight the drug trade.

Growing violence

Meanwhile, police in the Dominican Republic played down reports that at least 10 people were killed in the town of Villa Trina.

Violence between immigrants and locals in Villa Trina has flared in the past week after the murder of a Dominican was blamed on Haitian immigrants.

About 20 homes occupied by Haitian immigrants were burned in reprisal.

Some one million Haitians live in the Dominican Republic.

Haiti lies on the west and the Dominican Republic on the east of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the two countries sharing a land border.


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