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Police in Haiti open fire on starving survivors

Youths collect empty boxes after a food distribution by the UN near Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
Youths collect empty boxes after a food distribution by the UN near Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, looters fight for a bag of materials in Haitian capital Port-au-Prince on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
A woman prays during Mass held outside of the city's main Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
A woman pleads with surgeon Dr. Augustine outside at a state-run hospital, to bandage up her daughter's legs as Augustine makes rounds to determine injuries and necessary treatment in Port au Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
People wave towards a helicopter in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. A powerful earthquake struck Haiti Tuesday
A rescue worker from Luxemburg rest with his search dog at the tarmac of the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists from different countries continue to arrive in Haiti after the powerful earthquake that hit the country on Tuesday
People look for survivors in the wreckage of the collapsed Catherine Flon school in Carrefour, outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
Bodies of earthquake victims lie in an open mass grave in Sous Pianet, just south of Port-au-Prince
People line up to for gasoline in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
Elliane Garcon cries as she watches the body of her husband, Rene Morancy, being dumped from a front loader into a truck as crews remove bodies from the streets in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince
An injured girl is feed by a hospital volunteer at the general hospital in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
An officer aims at people taking goods from quake-damaged stores in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
A national police officer throws a tear gas grenade during riots in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
Men carrying a stolen pot past a burning body in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
In this photo provided by the U.N., United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon speaks with displaced Haitians during his trip to Port au Prince, Haiti on Sunday Jan. 17, 2010.
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Navy, people crowd on to a boat during an evacuation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Survivors of Tuesday's earthquake extend their arms as U.S. troops with the 82nd Airborne Division distribute water in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
Haitians board a bus to leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
Some of the earthquake-devastated areas of Port-au-Prince, Haiti are seen in an aerial photo, Sunday Jan. 17, 2010.
A woman run with stolen items from a collapsed store as a Haitian police officer looks on in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
In this photo provided by MINUSTAH, Bolivian UN peacekeepers distribute water and meals to the residents in Cite Soleil
People, one holding up a knife, fight for goods taken from collapsed stores in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Navy, Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Jason Harold, of Goldsboro, N.C., transfers a young Haitian earthquake victim from a Seahawk helicopter during a medical evacuation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Men carry water in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
A girl smiles at Park Boyer, which has been turned into a temporary camp for people whose homes have been destroyed, in the Petionville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin, Sun-Sentinel)
A United Nations worker, who was just rescued from the collapsed United Nations headquarters building, responds to questions from medical personnel as he is carried to a temporary clinic in Port-au- Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
People ride with a coffin on top of a car as they arrive at the morgue in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
Earthquake survivors line up for food distributed by the UN near Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
A man, wearing a face mask as a precaution against infections, walks past the collapsed Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
A cemetery worker rests before burying another earthquake victim in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A man looks for a body among hundreds of earthquake victims at the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
People carry an injured earthquake survivor in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
Displaced people gather in an open area in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
In this photo released by the United Nations, buildings affected by an earthquake lay in ruins in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010.
People carry a coffin containing the remains of an earthquake victim to a home for burial in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2010
In this Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 photo released by the Philippine Mission to the United Nations, police officers from the Philippines and China search for colleagues who may be trapped in the rubble of the United Nations Police Headquarters in Port-au-Prince
A woman lifts a cloth to see the face of an earthquake victim lying in the street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
An injured earthquake survivor receives treatment at a medical clinic set up at MINUSTAH's logistics base in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
A man looks through the collapsed rubble of St. Gerard Church and School in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A group of women react in disbelief as the body of the daughter of a woman, at center, is missing after the earthquake, in Port-au-Prince
Earthquake survivors wave to a helicopter flying over Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
A woman injured during Tuesday's earthquake eats while lying on a street in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
People fight over goods scavenged from the rubble of buildings collapsed during Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Princeac
People wait for medical attention in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
Scavengers look for goods amid the rubble
People, carrying scavenged goods, run away from the police in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
Scavengers look for goods amid the rubble of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
An injured child waits for medical attention in front of a damaged hospital in Carrefour, in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince
A body is buried in the rubble of a hotel in the aftermath of an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
A victim is carried into the Hospital Universitaire de la Paix in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, members of a Chinese emergency rescue team inspect the collapsed headquarters of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. Desperately needed aid from around the world slowly made its way Thursday into the capital after Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 earthquake.
In this photo release by China's Xinhua News Agency, a doctor of the Chinese emergency rescue team, left, treats an injured child
Bodies of earthquake victims lie on th street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A man sits next to a car after a powerful earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010.
Earthquake survivors gather in a shelter set up in the central public garden of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
Roselyn Joseph mourns over the body of her daughter, Emanuela Aminise, 14, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
A man sits among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
Aerial photo provided by The American Red Cross shows survivors gathered around bodies in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince during a joint Red Cross Red Crescent/ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Organization) aerial assessment mission following Tuesday's devestating earthquake.
The hand from the body of an earthquake victim hangs from a pick-up truck loaded with bodies waiting to be unloaded at a cemetery in Port-au-Prince,Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A woman's name is tagged on her arm to identify her body outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A funeral home has tagged the body of one of the huge amount lying outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
People gather around a gas pump seeking gas, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
A woman looks for a loved one among the bodies on the ground outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A woman is treated for her wounds on the grounds of the Canape-Vert Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
An boy injured by an earthquake has stitches sewn into his head at a makeshift clinic run by missionaries at a school in Port-au-Prince
A body lies among the rubble of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010.
A young injured earthquake survivor holds a piece of bread in a makeshift shelter in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
People carry a body through the streets on Wednesday Jan. 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince
People walk past a crushed car and other rubble in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
A man sits by an injured woman waiting for treatment at a makeshift clinic run by missionaries at a school in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
US citizen Carla Shown is carried by French firefighters after being rescued from the rubble of the collapsed Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Magician David Blaine, left, performs a card trick for Michael Sharpe, of Manhattan, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, in New York. Blaine is performing a 72-hour magic marathon in Times Square to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
People ride with a coffin on top of a car as they arrive at the morgue in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
People line up for gas at a gas station in the aftermath of the Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 13, 2010.
A cross stands intact in front of a church that collapsed during Tuesday's earthquake at the Canape Vert neighborhood
An arm pokes up in the sea of bodies outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince
Bodies fill the frontyard of the morgue in Port-au-Prince
Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen Claude after he was rescued from a collapsed home
A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen after he was rescued
A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen after he was rescued
Two year old Redjeson Hausteen Claude reacts to his mother Daphnee Plaisin after he is rescued
A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen
A victim of the massive earthquake in Haiti on a street in Port-au-Prince
An injured child sits on the sidewalk in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AP/Ricardo Arduengo)
People gather outside Haiti's quake-damaged National Palace (AP/Jorge Cruz)
A man carries an injured child outside Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
Injured people are tended to at Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2010
In this photo taken from the Web site twitter.com, people gather in the streets in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 after the largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
This photo provided by Carel Pedre shows people running past rubble of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
Anthony Guarino, a seismic analyst at the Caltech Seismological Laboratory, shows the 7.0 earthquake peak from the Haiti earthquake at the laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
This May 20, 2004 provided by the Canadian Department of National Defence shows the Presidential Palace in Port au Prince, Haiti
Damage to the Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti is shown on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2010
This image released by the US Geological Survey shows a shake map of the Haiti Region processed Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
LA County Fire Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 prepares for possible deployment to Haiti at the California Task Force 2 warehouse in the Pacoima section of Los Angeles, on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2010
A girl waits for medical attention in front of a damage hospital in Carrefour, outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

Violence and looting are sweeping through the Haitian capital.











Hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians are still waiting for help, many of them in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies.



New estimates put the quake death toll at as many as 200,000; but six days into the crisis, aid distribution was still random, chaotic and minimal, though world leaders have pledged massive assistance to rebuild.



International medical teams have taken over damaged hospitals and clinics where wounded and sick people have lain untreated for days.



In one incident a starving crowd clamoured to snatch food and supplies from shops. In another, residents caught two suspected looters, tied them together, beat them and dragged them through the streets.



Gangs of men, their faces covered with bandanas to mask both their identity and the smell of decaying bodies, brandished machetes and sharpened planks of wood as they ran from shop to shop stealing shoes, rolls of carpet and cooking pots.



Two aid workers from the Dominican Republic were shot and seriously wounded as they handed out food. Carlos Gatas and Milton Matos struggled back to their embassy with gunshot wounds after the attack.



There were also reports of hungry people fighting with machetes over small packages of food that were dropped into a stadium by a helicopter.



Despite being outnumbered, police officers tried to disperse the violence, but elsewhere there were reports that officers allowed vigilantes to deal with looters.



It is hoped the US troops will be able to quell the unrest, which has forced some rescue workers to pull out.



Canada has also promised to send 1,000 troops to support the relief effort, in addition to the 500 already there.



Only trickles of aid were getting through as much of the relief effort was hampered by the logistical problem of transporting supplies from the small and damaged airport into the city.



Medecins Sans Frontieres said that a cargo plane carrying an inflatable field hospital with the capacity to hold more than 100 patients was denied permission to land and had to be re-routed through the Dominican Republic, causing a 24-hour delay.



The US army is working to open a critical port in Haiti to help the flow of aid and helicopters have been drafted in to distribute supplies.



So far, they have delivered more than 70,000 bottles of water and 130,000 food rations.



Lieutenant General PK Keen, deputy commander of US Southern Command said: "We're going to be able to increase that every day.



"But, clearly, this is a disaster of epic proportions, and we've got a lot of work ahead of us."



Vast queues formed at distribution points where the UN World Food Programme handed out high-energy food, which had been delivered under armed guard.



Florence Louis, (29), a seven months pregnant mother of two, was one of thousands of Haitians who gathered at a gate at the Cite Soleil slum.



Clutching four packs of biscuits, she said: "It is enough because I didn't have anything at all."



On another street, six young men ripped water pipes off walls to suck out the few drops inside. "This is very, very bad, but I am too thirsty," said Pierre Louis Delmar.



Adding to the security fears, heavily armed gang members who once ran Haiti's worst slum like warlords have returned to the Cite Soleil shantytown since breaking out from prison after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday.



The UN said increasing numbers of Haitians were trying to cross the border into the Dominican Republic, on the eastern side of Hispaniola island, and reported a surge of quake survivors fleeing to northern cities.



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon visited Haiti yesterday. He said: "This is one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades.



"The damage, destruction, loss of life is just overwhelming,"



Mr Ban's first stop was at the collapsed UN mission headquarters in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where rescuers worked feverishly to extract a Danish employee from the rubble. Staffers accompanying Mr Ban wiped away tears as they viewed the destruction and mourned their dead and missing colleagues.



About 15 minutes after Mr Ban left, emergency workers successfully pulled the man from the building. He was talking, was given some water and taken to a hospital, UN staffers travelling with Mr Ban said.



The UN said it was feeding 40,000 people a day and hoped to increase that to one million within two weeks.

How you can help

The Disasters Emergency Committee – the umbrella organisation for 13 aid agencies including the British Red Cross and Oxfam – has launched an emergency appeal to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

If you would like to make a donation, please call 0370 60 60 900 or visit www.dec.org.uk

Emergency appeal hotlines









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