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Police Clash With Haitians Protesting Killing of Local Gang Leader


Haitian police have clashed with hundreds of demonstrators in a second day of protest over the killing of local gang leader Amiot Metayer. Five protesters and two police officers were wounded by gunfire.

News reports say trouble erupted in Gonaives Wednesday as demonstrators set up flaming barricades to protest Metayer's killing. The protests started Tuesday, one day after Metayer's bullet-riddled body was found on a roadside.

Metayer was a political militant and former ally of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He broke out of the Gonaives prison in August of last year, when his supporters known as the Cannibal Army bulldozed their way into the facility to free him and 158 other inmates.

Metayer had been implicated in acts of violence against Aristide opponents, including a December 17, 2001 assault on the Gonaives residence of politician Luc Mesadieu. One of Mr. Mesadieu's bodyguards was killed in the attack.

Since his escape from prison, Metayer had accused President Aristide of betraying Haiti's people and called on them to rise up against the government. He was quoted as saying the future of the country is "a Haiti without Aristide."

Haiti is mired in a long-running dispute over legislative elections and has lost foreign aid as a result.

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