Cholera fears spark anti-clinic protest in Haiti

October 27, 2010 06:25

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Protesters attacked a cholera treatment center as it was preparing to open in the city of St. Marc on Tuesday, highlighting the fear surrounding a disease that was almost unknown in Haiti before it began spreading through the countryside, aid workers said.

Some of the roughly 300 students and other protesters said they feared the Doctors Without Borders-Spain clinic would bring more of the disease to their seaside town, which is one of the hardest hit in the week-old epidemic that has killed 284 people and infected 3,769, according to United Nations figures.

Witnesses said the protesters threw rocks and at least one Molotov cocktail. UN peacekeepers from Argentina arrived with riot shields to reinforce police. Warning shots were heard; the UN said its soldiers fired blanks. There were no reports of injuries.

Haitian health officials assured the crowd the clinic would not open in that neighborhood.

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