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Police Evacuated After Killing

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13, 1996

Hundreds of people protesting a fatal police shooting burned down a courthouse and police station and trapped 12 officers inside a dormitory Tuesday before they were rescued by reinforcements.

Police commanders withdrew all officers from the town of Anse-a-Galets on Gonave Island after the standoff ended. The 12 officers were flown to Port-au-Prince by helicopter, said U.N. mission spokesman Eric Falt. None was injured during the standoff, which lasted nearly 24 hours.

Some 300 demonstrators burned down the town courthouse and the police station after two Haitian police officers on Monday shot and killed Venerable Setil, 44, as Setil was watching a film in a video club.

Angered by the shooting, the demonstrators burned the courthouse and attacked the police station. Seven police officers retreated to a dormitory to radio for help.

Five U.N. civilian police officers arrived by helicopter early Tuesday. After dawn, more police and U.N. peacekeeping troops arrived and evacuated the officers under a hail of rocks thrown by protesters.

Police commanders then decided to withdraw all officers from the town, Falt said. About 28 Haitian police officers are stationed on Gonave Island.

Residents said police burst into the club looking for an acquaintance of Setil’s. The acquaintance, Arnold Fils-Aime, was not hurt. Fils-Aime said the search apparently stemmed from a dispute he had with a policeman Saturday.

Tags: briefly, riot

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