Deadly attack on Haiti police headquarters as tensions escalate

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Gunmen stormed a police headquarters in southern Haiti on Monday leaving at least six killed in a shootout and a related accident in an apparent uprising attempt days after the volatile country missed a deadline to sign in a new president.

The police chief for Haiti's southern region, Luc Pierre, said gunmen in military fatigues attacked at night in the coastal city of Les Cayes. They seized automatic weapons and killed a policeman before officers shot one of them dead.

"Gunmen in military fatigue attacked police headquarters around 2:30 a.m., they beat several police officers and took away a number of weapons," Pierre said, adding that several policemen had been wounded, one seriously.

Under a political agreement struck in February after the impoverished Caribbean nation failed to hold a runoff election, a provisional president was chosen on condition he held the delayed vote in April and hand over power by May 14.

Both deadlines were missed, and an election will only be held after a commission evaluates fraud allegations in the first round, a process likely to take weeks despite U.S. and U.N. pressure.

Suspicions about Monday's attack turned to Guy Philippe, a former coup leader wanted by U.S. authorities on cocaine trafficking charges, who this year threatened an uprising against any interim government.

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