Gunmen fire upon French minister in Haiti

31st August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Aug 30 (AFP) - A senior French government was evacuated from a Haitian hospital Monday after unknown gunmen opened fire, likely with the intention of hitting him.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Aug 30 (AFP) - A senior French government was evacuated from a Haitian hospital Monday after unknown gunmen opened fire, likely with the intention of hitting him.  

"This is indisputable," French State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Renaud Muselier told AFP, pointing out that he believes the attack was directed against him.   

According to Muselier, St. Catherine Hospital located in Cite Soleil, one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the Haitian capital, came under fire about 20 minutes after he and his entourage arrived their for a visit.   

"The firing continued for about one hour and a half to two hours," Muselier said in a telephone interview. "Barricades were erected to prevent us from leaving. We were surrounded. It was a serious incident."  

Muselier was evacuated with the help of UN troops, who summoned two combat helicopters and two armoured vehicles to clear the way for the French delegation.   

A French police officer was slightly injured in the incident.   

Cite Soleil is a stronghold of former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide, who fled the country on February 29 amid a popular revolt against his rule.   

He was replaced by a US-backed interim government in a change of power also supported by France.  

Between 100 and 400 protesters greeted Muselier when he arrived to the hospital.   

The French secretary of state described Cite Soleil as "difficult territory."

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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