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24909: Arthur (pub) Metropole relays PNH version of events (fwd)
Charles Arthur comments: The different interpretations of serious events are
becoming more and more bizarre. Some people are telling downright lies. A huge
demonstration attacked by police (AP and Reuters) or a group of gangsters
engaged while mugging the public (the PNH).....Who to believe? They can't both be
Haiti: Police Spokeswoman Explains Yesterday's Killings in Christ-Roi
[Announcer Rotchild Francois Jr] There was a tense situation in
Port-au-Prince yesterday where at least five people were killed in an exchange of gunfire
with the national police. The police have provided some details this morning
about this situation of violence that took place in the capital yesterday.
According to police spokeswoman Jessie Cameau Coicou, those who were gunned down
were not armed partisans of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. She explains that there was
an exchange of gunfire between the police and a group of bandits in the
Christ-Roi area. Police spokeswoman Coicou explains as follows:
[Begin recording, in Creole] [Coicou] What the national police can say is
that, yesterday, a group of armed men started operating on Nazon Street [Martin
Luther King Ave]. These men were stripping car passengers of their possessions
and stealing vehicles. In addition, they stole a Honda CRV and escaped with it
on Caravelle Street. They stripped passengers of everything they had on them
or were carrying. They were even trying to kidnap people. Unfortunately for
these bandits, a police patrol arrived at that time. These individuals tried to
escape by going into the Christ-Roi area. They then met with another police
patrol in Christ-Roi. The bandits then started shooting at the police and the
police fired back. Two of them fell dead right on the spot. The police found a
9-mm gun on one of the victims and the other one was carrying stolen things
like a passport belonging to a foreigner -- they had just stolen this passport.
The police found jewelry they stole from schoolchildren passing in the area.
The police were later informed that three other bodies were discovered in the
area behind the Villa Saint-Louis Hotel. The police are not able to say
exactly how many bandits fell yesterday because the police only found two dead
bodies. As I said before, the police found a 9-mm gun in possession of one of the
victims and some stolen belongings in possession of the other victim.
Two other individuals were also injured in the exchange of gunfire. One of
them was hit in the leg and went to hide under a vehicle. People in the area who
realized that it was a bandit called the police and informed them that this
bandit was hiding under a vehicle. The police were told that this individual
was carrying a gun and that another gang member took the gun away. The police
took the injured man to a hospital for care, and he will be questioned later
about the gang's activities.
[Francois] Mrs. Coicou, there are certain sources of information that are
saying that these men were part of a demonstration that was demanding the return
of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
[Coicou] Everybody knows how demonstrations should be organized. There are
regulations that govern the issue, and there are ways for demonstrations to be
held. The police were not notified about the holding of any demonstration.
Moreover, if a group of people suddenly comes to an area and starts stripping car
passengers of their possessions and stealing vehicles, then this must be a
very special demonstration. Especially if they start shooting at the forces of
order, then I believe that, whatever the group or group of partisans that is
doing such a thing, it is the duty of the police to react against these people
especially when they attack the police. For, it is the duty of the police to
assure public order. Actually, if this was indeed a demonstration then it was
very strange. As I said before, this would be some kind of a special
demonstration. One thing is for certain, the national police were not notified that there
was going to be a demonstration. And it was a group of individuals that
suddenly went into an area and started doing all sorts of terrible things. [end