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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 07:11 GMT
Two UN soldiers killed in Haiti
Jordanian peacekeeper in Haiti
At least nine UN peacekeepers have died in Haiti
Two Jordanian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations in Haiti have been shot dead in a volatile district of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

A third UN soldier, also from Jordan, was injured in the attack on a checkpoint in the Cite Soleil district.

The deaths come a day after protesters demanded the UN take action against crime before the 7 February elections.

Peacekeepers were sent to Haiti after President Jean Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004.

Cite Soleil is a sprawling slum area of Port-au-Prince regarded as fiercely loyal to Mr Aristide.

The area is often blighted by violence and controlled by gangs loyal to the ousted president.

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The BBC's Simon Watts says the Jordanian troops in Haiti have one of the toughest assignments on a very tough mission.

Restoring order in the shantytowns is vital for security in Haiti, our correspondent says, but the UN mission has had major problems with strategy.

He says that using strong-armed tactics inside places like Cite Soleil has angered residents, while not going in hard has sparked protests by business leaders who want the UN to do more to tackle violent crime.

Elections 'secure'

The latest incident comes as peacekeepers try to improve security before the elections next month.

Haitian and UN officials said the shooting would not derail plans for the vote.

However the US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, described the situation as "very, very disturbing".

The polls are being held to elect a permanent government to replace the transitional government installed when Mr Aristide's fled the country.

They have been postponed several times amid logistical and security problems.

UN troops in Haiti have often been criticised for not doing enough to improve security.

At least nine peacekeepers have been killed in Haiti since their initial deployment.


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