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Three UN Peacekeepers Injured in Clash in Haiti


The U.N. mission in Haiti says three U.N. peacekeepers have been injured in a clash with gangs in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The latest violence comes a week after gang violence claimed the lives of more than 20 people in the city. From our Miami bureau, VOA's Lisa Ferdinando reports on the latest developments.

U.N. troops in Haiti exchanged gunfire with gang members early Thursday morning.

A spokesman with the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti, Major Anibal Molero, says the clash occurred as peacekeepers went to clear a roadblock.

"The roadblock was made with a school bus, which was tipped over," he said. "As we approached, we were shot at by unknown individuals. As self-defense, we shot back with the precise force used against us."

The United Nations has increased its patrols since gang violence late last week in Port-au-Prince, in which more than 20 people were killed and a number of others injured.

In an earlier interview with VOA, the communications chief for the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti, David Wimhurst, expressed deep concern about last week's deadly violence, which came months after the election of Rene Preval as president.

"This is a very disturbing development, because it means the gangs are now back in the business of violence, which they sort of indicated they were going to stop doing, once the president was elected," he said. "Also, they are back in the business of kidnapping."

But one resident of Port-au-Prince expressed dissatisfaction at the Brazilian-commanded U.N. force in Haiti, saying that Haiti does not need, in his words, the Brazilians to continue shooting at them every day.