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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Fierce clashes in Haitian capital
UN peacekeeper in Haiti
The UN has had a presence in Haiti since 1993
Fierce clashes have broken out between UN troops and gunmen in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, reports say.

According to witnesses, between two and six people were killed in the clashes in the north of the city. UN officials were unable to confirm the deaths.

Reports describe gangs going on the rampage and kidnappings taking place.

An election in February brought some stability to Haiti but correspondents say there are signs the security situation could be deteriorating again.

"Two ladies who work in a nearby factory were killed by bullets," a young man who identified himself as Maxime told Reuters news agency.

Map

"A man who was running away from the scene of the incidents was shot and fell on the ground," he said.

"It was a real war," another witness told Reuters.

UN spokesman David Wimhurst said peacekeepers had come under attack and returned fire.

A UN peacekeeping force has been in Haiti since 2004 to help restore order after former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced to flee an armed coup.

The unrest follows a gang massacre in the Martissant neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in which about 20 people died.


SEE ALSO
New Haitian cabinet takes office
10 Jun 06 |  Americas
New Haiti president takes office
14 May 06 |  Americas
Aristide: US forced me to leave
02 Mar 04 |  Americas
Timeline: Haiti
10 Jun 06 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Haiti
09 Jun 06 |  Country profiles

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