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Archive for Sunday, July 29, 2001

Police outposts in Haiti attacked

Assassins thought to be loyal to army disbanded under Aristide

July 29, 2001

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— Six men wearing camouflage uniforms and cradling assault rifles stormed a police academy and a jail Saturday, demanding loyalty to the disbanded Haitian army. Three policemen were killed and four wounded.

Before dawn, the gunmen pulled up at the suburban Petionville academy in an all-terrain vehicle and headed for the barracks, spraying them with gunfire, Cmdr. Jean-Yonel Trecil said.

Alain Gasmar cries after identifying the body of his brother,
policeman Louis James Gasmar, 32, who was killed in a terrorist
attack at a police academy. The attack was one of three Saturday on
police outposts in Haiti.

Alain Gasmar cries after identifying the body of his brother, policeman Louis James Gasmar, 32, who was killed in a terrorist attack at a police academy. The attack was one of three Saturday on police outposts in Haiti.

The attackers seized senior officer Eddy Cantave from a dormitory and forced him to lead them to a SWAT team compound, where heavy arms are stored.

The gunmen then shot and killed Cantave along with a cadet and an officer on guard duty at the compound, Trecil said. Cantave was found with his hands bound. Four other officers were wounded by gunfire in the attack, which ended around sunrise.

It was unclear if the attackers stole any weapons.

The gunmen were apparently the same as those who earlier Saturday attacked a police lockup about 1 1/2 miles away.

They threatened to kill 21 inmates if they didn't say "long live the army," said Patricia Barrieu, who sells food to the prisoners. None of the prisoners was harmed or released.

In a similar incident later Saturday, unidentified gunmen attacked a police station in Mirebalais, 25 miles northeast of the capital, said Haitian Justice Minister Gary Lissade. He provided no details, but Radio Plus reported that one officer was killed and three officers were abducted.

The Petionville academy was once used to train the Haitian army, which President Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded.

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