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Tension continues over food prices

Latest update : 2008-04-13

After Haiti's prime minister was dismissed Saturday over the skyrocketing cost of food, a UN peacekeeper from Nigeria was shot to death in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The circumstances of the shooting remain unclear. (Report: M. Henbest)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, April 12 (Reuters) - A UN peacekeeper from Nigeria was shot to death in the Haitian capital on Saturday as tensions fueled by riots over food prices continued to simmer in the Caribbean country, a police officer and a Nigerian U.N. military officer said. 

The Haitian police officer, who did not want to be named, said the U.N. peacekeeper was struck by gunfire near the main Catholic cathedral in downtown Port-au-Prince. 

A Nigerian commander of U.N. troops at the scene, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the victim was a 36-year-old Nigerian soldier. 

The circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear. 

Port-au-Prince has been relatively tranquil since President Rene Preval called on protesters on Wednesday to stop rioting over soaring food prices. At least five people died during a week of violence in which U.N. troops battled demonstrators. 

Opposition senators on Saturday voted to fire the impoverished country's prime minister, Jacques Edouard Alexis, over the skyrocketing cost of food, which has had a painful impact in countries like Haiti, where most people earn less than $2 a day. 

A UN spokesman was not available for comment. 

There are about 9,000 Brazilian-led U.N. peacekeepers and civilian police in Haiti. The force was sent in after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in an armed rebellion in 2004.

Date created : 2008-04-13