Armed rebels take
By Michael Norton The Associated Press
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ? An armed opposition group seized control of Gonaives, Haiti’s fourth-largest city, yesterday, burning a police station, freeing prisoners and leaving at least four people reported dead and 20 wounded in clashes with police.
Members of the Gonaives Resistance Front began the assault shortly after in
At least four opponents of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide were killed in gunbattles with police, Gonaives Resistance Front leader Wynter Etienne told Radio Vision 2000. Radio Metropole reported 20 people were wounded and more than 100 inmates were freed from the jail.
Etienne said the group aims to take control of other towns, while the government vowed to restore order.
The attacks “are terrorist acts undertaken by the armed wing of the opposition,” government spokesman Mario Dupuy said. “The police will have to take measures to re-establish order.”
Members of the armed group were once allied with Aristide but turned on him last year after their leader, Amiot Metayer, was found slain Sept. 22. Metayer had long supported Aristide, but many of his followers accuse the government of involvement in the killing.
Aristide has denied involvement.
Discontent has been growing in
At least 55 people have been killed in the
Aristide has refused to step down before his term ends in 2006 and has defended his government, saying it has made progress despite many obstacles.
Dupuy, the spokesman, said the attackers in
Yesterday’s clashes in
Leaders of the opposition Democratic Platform said in a statement that during the two days of talks, they sought to “explain why Aristide and his government have to go.” The opposition leaders said they would “never engage in any kind of negotiation to maintain Aristide in power.”
In the capital of
They gathered after the funeral of Aristide supporter Lionel Victor. Victor was shot with a tear-gas canister by police at close range during a clash with anti-government protesters at the U.S. Consulate on Jan 28.