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#3691: Five hurt in pre-election grenade attack in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, May 18 (Reuters) - Five people were wounded
when an unidentified attacker hurled a grenade at the offices of Haiti's
electoral council just four days ahead of long-awaited elections, police
said on Thursday.
     The blast late on Wednesday night in the courtyard of the Provisional
Electoral Council building badly wounded two people and shattered windows
in two cars parked inside the courtyard.
     The building was closed and no electoral council officials were on
site at the time.
     "We were outside, we heard the explosion, when we looked the whole
yard was full of smoke," said Cherisme Pierre-Clausel, a police officer who
was providing security at the building.
     Haiti is due to hold its first legislative and municipal elections in
more than three years on Sunday. The vote is expected to reestablish the
parliament that President Rene Preval dissolved in January 1999.
     More than a dozen people have been killed in the last six weeks as
political violence has risen dramatically ahead of the vote.