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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 23:35 GMT 00:35 UK
Tense funeral for Haiti reporter
Funeral for Jacques Roche
Jacques Roche's funeral led to an outpouring of grief
Mourners in Haiti have attended the funeral of a prominent journalist killed by kidnappers.

Jacques Roche was found shot dead last week, five days after his capture in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Scuffles broke out during the ceremony, and some 1,000 protesters later marched through the city to demand tougher action against rising insecurity.

Haiti has recently been hit by a string of abductions as UN peacekeepers struggle to keep law and order there.

Police say more than 450 people have been kidnapped since March.

Correspondents say the unrest is increasing concern about whether elections will be able to go ahead as planned later this year.

'Against violence'

In an emotional service, mourners filed past Roche's open casket at a church in an affluent suburb of the capital, the Associated Press news agency reported.

"The death of this journalist must awaken our national consciousness against violence, and all the evils our society is going through," Roman Catholic Bishop Andre Dumas said during his Mass.

After the funeral, protesters waving flags flooded a main avenue and marched toward the capital's centre.

Roche's handcuffed and mutilated body was found in a slum district of Port-au-Prince.

He had been tortured and shot several times.

Most abductions in Haiti are carried out for money, with the victim usually being released after a ransom is paid.

Scuffles broke out at the ceremony after mourners spotted Gerard Jean-Juste, a priest close to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide ousted last year.

The priest was punched by the crowd, following claims by some officials that Aristide supporters were involved in Roche's murder.

Mr Jean-Juste was escorted to a nearby police station for protection.


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