US official: Violence in Haiti hindering aid work

January 17, 2010 23:42

Some incidents of violence in Haiti have hindered rescue workers trying to help earthquake victims, a top official leading the US government's relief efforts said Sunday.

Providing humanitarian aid requires a safe and secure environment, said Lt. Gen. Ken Keen of the US Southern Command. While streets have been largely calm, he said, violence has been increasing.

"We are going to have to address the situation of security," Keen said. "We've had incidents of violence that impede our ability to support the government of Haiti and answer the challenges that this country faces."

Keen said about 1,000 US troops are in Haiti and that 3,000 more are working from ships. More than 12,000 US forces are expected to be in the region by Monday.

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