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US and Canada send armored vehicles to bolster Haiti’s police force

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The US and Canada sent armored vehicles and other supplies to Haiti on Saturday to help police fight a powerful gang amid a pending request from the Haitian government for the immediate deployment of foreign troops.

A statement from the US State Department said the equipment was purchased by the Haitian government but did not provide further details about supplies flown to the capital, Port-au-Prince, on military aircraft.

A spokesman for the US Army’s Southern Command said he could not provide further details about the supplies shipped, although he added that it was a joint operation involving the US Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“This equipment will assist (Haiti’s National Police) in their fight against criminal actors who fuel violence and disrupt the flow of urgently needed humanitarian aid, hampering efforts to stop the spread of cholera,” it said. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Pan American Health Organization said there are more than 560 suspected cases of cholera, some 300 hospitalizations and at least 35 deaths, with experts warning the numbers are likely much higher than what’s being reported.

The equipment arrived more than a month after one of Haiti’s most powerful gangs surrounded a fuel terminal and demanded Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s resignation. Protesters have also blocked roads in major cities to protest the soaring fuel prices after Henry announced in early September that his government could no longer afford to subsidize fuel.

Since then, gas stations have closed, hospitals have cut back on services, and banks and supermarkets have opened on a limited basis as Haiti’s fuel, water and other supplies dwindle.

The fuel terminal owners announced on Saturday that gunmen had attacked their facilities for the second time and fled with more than 28,000 liters of petroleum products after overwhelming security and emergency services at the facility.

It was the second time this week that gunmen broke into the terminal, which contains more than 10 million gallons of gasoline and diesel and more than 800,000 gallons of kerosene.

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