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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 01:43 GMT
Envoy demands apology from Haiti
Protesters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
On the streets protesters vented anti-Dominican feelings
The Dominican Republic's ambassador in Haiti has demanded an apology for clashes that marred a visit to Haiti by Dominican President Leonel Fernandez.

Jose Serulle Ramia said the incident was the result of the irresponsibility of the Haitian state.

At least three people were hurt in the clashes with police during a rally against the alleged abuse of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic.

The violence forced Mr Fernandez to cut short his Monday visit.

The Haitian government has condemned the violence in the capital, Port-au-Prince, launching an inquiry.

'Racist'

Hundreds of 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

Police in the Dominican Republic had earlier 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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