April 5, 2005 in Nation/World

Haitian gangs, U.N. troops clash

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Akayev
(Full-size photo)

Port-au-Prince, Haiti U.N. troops battled street gangs in firefights near a lawless Haitian slum, the latest in a series of clashes between peacekeepers and armed groups that some fear could disrupt fall elections.

At least five gang members wounded or killed in the gunfight late Sunday in the Port-au-Prince slum of Cite Soleil, soldiers said.

A U.N. military spokesman could not immediately confirm the casualties. bit said no U.N. peacekeepers were hurt.

Peruvian peacekeepers were patrolling the western edge of Cite Soleil when armed men in four cars opened fire. Troops returned fire and chased the cars through the slum, a hotbed of gang violence between supporters and opponents of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The clash was the fiercest since peacekeepers surrounded Cite Soleil on Thursday as part of a crackdown on violence that has surged for more than a year after an uprising ousted Aristide.

Kyrgyzstan president signs his resignation

Moscow Askar Akayev signed his resignation as Kyrgyzstan’s president Monday, lawmakers said, raising hopes of ending political turmoil in the Central Asian country 11 days after he fled before protesters stormed his offices.

Kyrgyzstan, which has Russian and U.S. bases, is the third former Soviet republic to be upended by protests. Uprisings in Ukraine last year and Georgia in 2003 forced out entrenched leaders and brought reformers to power.

Akayev signed his resignation, effective today, in Moscow a day after meeting with a delegation representing the interim leaders.

11 officers arrested in Brazil massacre

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Authorities on Monday arrested 11 police suspected of participating in death squad killings that left 30 people dead in two towns on Rio’s poor outskirts.

Four of the officers were charged with murder in Thursday night’s shooting, while seven are being confined at the police barracks, officials said.

Authorities believe the killings were a show of force by rogue police angered by the arrest of eight officers caught on film disposing of two bodies. Officials are seeking a 12th suspect.

Only two victims had criminal records and five were teenagers shot to death while playing video games at a bar.

Authorities said the shootings began with the killing of 18 people at a bar. Then gunmen moved to another town where 12 people were killed.

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