Police kill gang leader in shootout
A Haitian gang leader wanted in the killings of police officers was killed in a shootout with a SWAT team as authorities crack down on anti-government armed bands.
PORT-AU-PRINCE - (AP) -- Police on Sunday shot and killed a prominent gang leader implicated in the killings of Haitian police officers, officials said.
Jean Rene Anthony was killed in a shootout with a Haitian SWAT team at a home in the Delmas suburb of Port-au-Prince, said Lt. Col. Elouafi Boulbars, U.N. military spokesman.
Anthony was thought to have been wounded Saturday when prominent rebel leader Remissaninthe Ravix was killed in a gun battle, Boulbars said. Anthony managed to escape, but police got a tip Sunday that he was at a home in Delmas, he said.
In February, police offered a reward of 250,000 gourdes ($7,000) for information leading to the capture of Ravix as well as Anthony, who was close to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ravix was suspected of involvement in the killing of four Haitian police officers while Anthony was suspected of killing two others in an ambush last month.
The killings Anthony was linked to occurred in the volatile Delmas neighborhood, and they followed several recent attacks on police and a government building that officials say are aimed at destabilizing the country ahead of key fall elections.
Anthony, a former soldier who sided with Aristide, was thought to have made an alliance with a band of other ex-soldiers, who after a three-week rebellion, ousted Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004, and forced him into exile.
U.S. Ambassador James Foley told Haitian reporters earlier this month the United States is concerned that both ex-soldiers who helped oust Aristide and armed Aristide supporters are trying to destabilize the interim government.
''The United States will not accept such an alliance,'' he said in comments in French carried by Haitian radio stations. ``Haitians will have to choose between chaos orchestrated by armed bands and the success of elections set for this year.''
General elections are planned in October and November.