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8796: Haitian Attackers in Dominican Republic, Police Say (fwd)

From: Dan Craig <dgcraig@att.net>

July 29, 2001 3:46 pm EST

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (Reuters) - Four former Haitian
policemen who allegedly took part in an assault on a Haitian police
academy have crossed the border into the Dominican Republic and sought
political asylum, Dominican Foreign Ministry sources said on Sunday.

The four were in the custody of the Dominican military, the sources
said. Security forces closed off the border on Saturday after the
Haitians entered at the northern town of Dajabon, they added.

In Saturday's incident in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, gunmen
dressed in military uniforms attacked an academy in the Petionville
suburb before dawn, killing three police officers and wounding four
others. The raid triggered angry protests across the city.

The motive for the action was unclear, authorities said.

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the brutal military
and set up a new police force after a U.S.-led invasion returned him to
power in 1994, but signs of trouble brewing among groups of former
military men have emerged sporadically.

The Dominican sources described the asylum seekers as ex-policemen
although Haitian officials called them former soldiers.

Dominican President Hipolito Mejia was on his way home on Sunday from
the inauguration of Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo in Lima and
would deal with the situation on return, the sources said.

The two countries share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and relations
between them traditionally have been bad.