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Haiti cholera protests turn violent

Nov. 18, 2010 at 8:55 PM   |   Comments

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Anti-United Nations protests in Haiti spread to Port-au-Prince Thursday, with protestors accusing U.N. peacekeepers of introducing cholera in Haiti.

Protestors demanded the United Nations leave the country, CNN reported. U.N. officials deny their forces were responsible for the outbreak.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,100 people.

The protest in Port-au-Price began peacefully but became violent as protestors moved toward the presidential palace, witnesses told CNN. The violence including overturning of Dumpsters and Molotov cocktails being thrown as posters of presidential candidate Jude Celestin, who has been endorsed by outgoing Haitiain President Reve Preval.

A member of a Christian motorcycle organization says Haitians blaming them for spreading cholera attacked members of his group in Cap-Haitien. Terry Gibson, a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, based in Arkansas, said his team was attacked as it tried to leave the city, CNN reported.

None of the 11 members of Gibson's team were injured when several people on the outskirts of Cap-Haitien attacked their bus Wednesday.

"We saw one guy with a machete raised up and he's running and yelling and screaming and pointing up ahead. We suspect they put a blockade up in front of us. That's when we stopped and they busted out the glass on the door," Gibson recalled.

Gibson said the bus became incapacitated and started spraying oil, but the driver was able to get the vehicle to the gate of a nearby United Nations peacekeeping base.

"I feel like God protected us," Gibson said. "Just the fact that the bus stopped, died right in front of the U.N. compound, is confirmation that he's looking out for us."

Gibson said one of the CMA's goals is to donate motorcycles to Christian leaders; it had traveled to Haiti to donate seven motorcycles.

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