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Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Haitian police launched operation "wipe gangs out"
By The Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - U.N. and Haitian police have increased checkpoints and launched anti-gang operations to combat a rash of kidnappings in the country's capital, officials said Tuesday.

At least 67 people have been kidnapped across Haiti this year, with 12 taken so far in March alone, said U.N. police spokesman Fred Blaise. Four people were snatched late Friday and early Saturday in Port-au-Prince, including a French national, said Haitian police spokesman Frantz Lerebours.

The French Embassy in Port-au-Prince confirmed the kidnapping but declined to release details.

On Monday, police arrested three suspected kidnappers during a daylight raid in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Delmas, Blaise said. The raid caused a panic in the neighborhood and prompted a nearby high school to cancel classes, although the students were never in danger, Radio Kiskeya reported.

U.N. police did not say if any kidnap victims were freed during the raid.

wehaitians.com: In 2005 a total of 634 people were kidnapped for ransom; 2006, 488; 2007, 379. Source: The French embassy, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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