UN troops teargas Haitians

PORT AU PRINCE - UN troops fired warning shots and sprayed teargas at Haitian quake survivors after a food delivery exercise spiraled out of control in the capital.

PORT AU PRINCE - UN troops fired warning shots and sprayed teargas at Haitian quake survivors after a food delivery exercise spiraled out of control in the capital.

The distribution of food, soybean oil, water and radios at a former military airfield began calmly on Saturday, with two long lines of people waiting patiently, an AFP photographer said.

Brazilian troops missed small early scuffles for aid by many who had received no help since the massive January 12 earthquake reduced their homes to rubble. The troops were forced to resort to teargas and firing into the air.

As order broke down and crowds poured out of the lines, the peacekeepers abandoned the aid for people to fight over and just stood by. It was unclear if the delivery was finally completed.

The UN Security Council voted last week to send 3500 extra troops and police to Haiti to help maintain order and protect vehicles delivering humanitarian aid.

The UN mission in Haiti, deployed in 2004, currently has about 7000 troops, 2000 police and about 2000 civilian staffers. - Sapa-AFP

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