CSMS Magazine Staff WritersTwo gunmen were killed on Thursday as gun battle raged between Haitian police and U.N. troops in the troubled Caribbean nation, authorities said. The firefights took place around Cite Soleil, the biggest slum in the country, same area where several people died in gunfire on Wednesday. “They (gunmen) attacked us. We returned fire and two were killed,” said Frantz Lerebours, a spokesman for the Haitian police. “We are not going to surrender the country to bandits.” He said one police officer was wounded during the clashes. According to a U.N. spokeswoman, no peacekeepers were injured. Five people died on Wednesday in similar incidents. Four were killed in Port-au-Prince and a policeman was gunned down in the northern city of Gonaives. Haiti suffered nearly two years of political and gang violence following the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in early 2004. U.N. peacekeeping troops were sent to restore security after Aristide was bundled out of the country following a bloody rebellion. The violence diminished quite a bit just before the elections last February, when former Aristide ally Rene Preval won the presidency. Authorities could offer no immediate explanation for the surge in gunfire and kidnappings in recent days. At least nine people were abducted on Wednesday, according to police sources and radio reports.Reuter’s news agency confirmed that two U.S. missionaries who had been abducted on Sunday were released on Thursday after a ransom was paid. Once again, Haiti seems far from being a peaceful place.
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