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#2800: Angry villagers attack Haitian police station (fwd)


WIRE:03/10/2000 10:15:00 ET
 Angry villagers attack Haitian  police station
PORT-AU-PRINCE, March 10 (Reuters) - A crowd of angry  Haitians      
attacked a police station in a coastal village after  rumours spread
that a bus driver allegedly responsible for a  deadly accident had
returned, police said on Friday. While Haiti celebrated its Mardi Gras
 carnival on Tuesday  night, a speeding bus driver heading toward
Port-au-Prince from  the southwest town of Jeremie slammed into a
carnival crowd  dancing in the street in Grand-Goave. At least 17
 people were  killed and another 22 injured, all of them among the crowd
in  the street, witnesses said.  The driver sped on without stopping,
but was forced to abandon his bus farther up the road because another
 carnival band blocked the highway. The driver escaped on foot,
witnesses said.  On Thursday, Grand-Goave villagers, shaken by the
 tragedy,attacked the local police station after hearing a rumour that 
the driver had returned to reclaim his bus, named "God's  Gift," which
was parked at the station. The rumour proved to be  false.  "They tried
to burn the station down, but police were  able  to regain control,"
police spokesman Jean-Dady  Simeon.Grand-Goave is 30 miles (50 km)
southwest of the capital. The crowd attempted to set fire to the station
after a police officer pulled his gun and threatened them,witnesses 
said. The crowd set fire to the bus, a police car and a pick-up  truck
parked near the station. Police fled the scene, witnesses  said.       
Protesters also set up flaming barricades at the entrance  and exit of
Grand-Goave on Thursday.  Crowd-control police arrived a short while
later and  made  several arrests. Many of the protesters were in hiding
on  Friday, witnesses said.