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U.N. Troops Roll Into Haitian Slum

December 14, 2004

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Hundreds of U.N. peacekeeping troops stormed into a seaside slum loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Tuesday to try to control areas that have become flashpoints of violence. At least three people were wounded in the ensuing clashes.

Sporadic gunfire rang out from Cite Soleil as Brazilian and Jordanian troops entered the area in armored personnel carriers, exchanging fire with armed residents.

Three people with gunshot wounds were carried through a U.N. roadblock, and residents told The Associated Press they had been shot by armed thugs.

Cite Soleil, a gritty slum on the border of Port-au-Prince, has been a focal point of violence since September, when Aristide loyalists stepped up protests to demand his return from exile in South Africa. At least 104 people have been killed in political violence since Sept. 30.

Aristide fled the country Feb. 29 after a three-week uprising against his government.

U.N. officials said they planned to patrol the Aristide stronghold for at least two months until they can transfer operations to Haiti’s beleaguered police.

The troops plan to dismantle roadblocks set up by armed civilians and secure control of two police stations in the slum.

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