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17058: (Craig) One Dead, Two Police Officers Hurt in Haiti Unrest (fwd)

From: Dan Craig <hoosier@att.net>

One Dead, Two Police Officers Hurt in Haiti Unrest
October 26, 2003
Filed at 7:01 p.m. ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - A youth was killed and
two police officers were wounded by gunfire on Sunday in
the western Haitian town of Gonaives when followers of a
murdered gang leader tried to storm police headquarters,
local media said.

Local police chief Camille Marcellus was shot in the arm,
another police officer was wounded by gunfire, and
17-year-old Josna Pierre was shot to death when Amiot
Metayer's armed Cannibal Army vigilante group attacked the
station, according to private Radio Metropole.

The officers were taken to a hospital in the capital,
Port-au-Prince, and the government sent police
reinforcements to Gonaives to secure the station, the radio

Police did not have any official comment on the incident.

Gonaives has been hit by sometimes violent demonstrations
since the murder of Amiot Metayer in late September. At
least five people have been killed in the unrest.

The slain man's brother, Butter Metayer, and a
spokesperson, Winter Etien, say the killing was ordered by
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The government has denied
the charge.

Before Metayer's death, the Cannibal Army defended Aristide
by issuing threats and using tough tactics against
government opponents. Since his murder, the group has
turned against Aristide.

Last week, Etien told local radio stations that he had
renamed the Cannibal Army the Front for Aristide's
Departure, and warned of plans to capture government
officials in Gonaives and hold them hostage until Aristide
steps down.

Amiot Metayer was arrested for arson and murder in 2001 but
escaped when followers bulldozed through a prison wall to
free him a year ago.

Despite international pressure, the police did not
re-arrest Metayer, and he became a focal point for charges
at home and abroad that Aristide's government was
intimidating the opposition by turning a blind eye to
thuggish tactics.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company