UN forces and Haitian police clear barricaded quarter

UN forces and Haitian police clear barricaded quarter

United Nations peacekeeping forces, together with Haitian National Police, have cleared the streets of Bel Air, a poor area of the Caribbean country's capital, Port-au-Prince, which has been in upheaval over the past three weeks, a UN spokesman told reporters today.

The contingents removed obstacles yesterday which had been blocking traffic, including 130 burned-out vehicles, Fred Eckhard told the press in New York. "It is reported that one Haitian police officer died during the operation and that an undisclosed number of people were arrested by Haitian police," he said.

From now on, the contingents will mount 24-hour surveillance of the water tower, just opposite another significant building, the national shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which had recently been inaccessible to most Haitians.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Juan Gabriel Valdés was scheduled to visit the newly opened and secured port area of Port-au-Prince today, Mr. Eckhard said.