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Haitian Catholic Priest Detained, Questioned About Possible Link to Violence - 2004-10-14

Haitian national police have detained a Port-au-Prince Catholic priest to question him about recent street violence in the capital that has left at least 45 people dead.

Police say Father Gerard Jean-Juste was taken into custody for questioning Wednesday after they received reports he helped organize the two weeks of violence by gangs the government says are supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Those gangs are demanding an end to what they call an "occupation" by U.N. peacekeepers.

A multinational force has been in Haiti since Mr. Aristide fled the country in February.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports Justice Minister Bernard Gousse will not allow former Haitian soldiers who fought to oust Mr. Aristide to act as a security force. The AP quotes him as saying they are "not welcome."

Some 30 of those former soldiers are gathered in a hillside suburb outside the capital. They have said they intend to help stop street violence in the capital.