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#4311: Dominicans probe Haitian killings at border crossing (fwd)

From: Rosann Clements <rosann@onemain.com>

Dominicans probe Haitian killings at border crossing

Web-posted: 1:00 p.m. June 20, 2000

SANTO DOMINGO -- The Dominican Republic military Tuesday opened an
investigation into an army attack on a truck that left six Haitian
passengers and the Dominican driver dead.
     Some 14 people were injured in Sunday's incident near the Dominican
Republic's northern border with Haiti.
     On Monday officials said the soldiers may have opened fire because they
thought the vehicle, which was trying to cross the border from Haiti, might
be transporting drugs or arms.
     In preliminary comments, Armed Forces Secretary Lt. Gen. Manuel de
Jesus Florentino said border police were told Sunday to be on alert for a
possible cargo of drugs or arms from Haiti.
     He said the soldiers pursued the truck, which had a canvas covering the
back part, for 10 miles , firing in the air, and at the tires. The truck
eventually overturned on a bend.
     The deaths were caused by bullet wounds and the impact of the crash,
officials said. They did not say how many people were shot and killed.
     President Leonel Fernandez apologized Monday to his counterpart in
Haiti, Rene Preval, saying those responsible for any misconduct over the
incident will be punished.
     News reports said the Haitians lived in the Dominican Republic. Earlier
reports suggested they were new to the country.
     The two countries share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola but Haiti is
far poorer, prompting many Haitians to come to the Dominican Republic to
find work.