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9996: Haiti-Palace Shooting (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

   PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 17 (AP) -- Armed commandos stormed the National
Palace on Monday, taking over radio communications and killing several
people in what government officials are calling an attempted coup.
   Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his wife were unharmed, and
sleeping at their suburban home in Tabarre, about four miles from the
palace, said Guy Paul, the minister of culture and communication.
   Dozens of armed security personnel surrounded the downtown building,
trying to dislodge the gunmen who were reportedly still inside.
   "This is an attempted coup d'etat," said National Palace spokesman
Jacques Maurice. "This is not a staged event."
     The gunmen killed two police officers guarding the palace when they
stormed the building early Monday, Maurice said. There were reports of
other deaths, and an undetermined number of officers were injured.
   Before attacking the national palace, the commandoes in three pickup
trucks and a jeep attempted to assault the national penitentiary, Maurice
said. When they were rebuffed, they then went on to attack the palace.