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Haitians Mob Relief Site for Food

September 25, 2004|From Associated Press

GONAIVES, Haiti — U.N. troops fired smoke grenades Friday as crowds of desperate Haitian flood victims tried to break into a food distribution site.

At least 1,160 people were killed last weekend when Tropical Storm Jeanne devastated the city, and crews continue to find bodies in the mud and debris. An additional 1,250 people were listed as missing.

About 500 people gathered at a Roman Catholic school where CARE International passed out food only to women in hopes of reducing the crowds. The crowd swelled, however, and men, women and children tried to push through an iron gate.

Argentine U.N. troops fired the smoke grenades, chasing people away. But the sunburned flood victims returned in surges once the air cleared.

"We need everything -- bread, clothes, clean water, food," said Mosau Alveus, 25, who got a bag of grain after waiting for hours.

Genevieve Montaguere, a nun from Guadeloupe, said the school distributed food to 1,000 families but ran out of drinking water.

An 18-wheeler carrying relief supplies from the Church of God was attacked by residents when it entered the city. People jumped onto the moving truck, pried open the doors and threw out boxes of supplies. Troops shoved crowds off the truck.

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