Protests break out at Haiti president's funeral, guests run for cover

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HAITI-PRESIDENT/FUNERAL (UPDATE 7, PIX, TV):UPDATE 7-Protests break out at Haiti president's funeral, guests run for cover
(Adds White House comment)

By Dave Graham and Andre Paultre

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti, July 23 (Reuters) - The funeral of assassinated Haitian president Jovenel Moise on Friday was disrupted by shots fired nearby and riot gas used on protesters, prompting a high-level U.S. delegation to abruptly leave and other dignitaries to duck into vehicles for safety.

The state funeral in the northern city of Cap-Haitien was intended to foster national unity, but the disturbances reflected deep division over the June 7 atrocity, in which foreign gunmen walked apparently unchallenged into the presidential residence and shot Moise multiple times, also injuring his wife.

Few answers have emerged about who planned the killing, or why.

There were no immediate reports of injuries among protesters or authorities on Friday, and no indications any guests at the funeral were in danger. Reuters witnesses smelled the gas and heard detonations they believed to be shots outside the site of the service.

Smoke billowed into the compound. Dozens of police and security officials formed protective cordons around Haitian officials in the stands.

U.S. President Joe Biden's ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, was in attendance, leading the U.S. delegation. The delegation had heard the gunshots and was returning home slightly earlier than expected, according to a source familiar with the situation.

"The presidential delegation is safe and accounted for in light of the reported shootings outside of the funeral," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

"We are deeply concerned about unrest in Haiti."

Earlier, in remarks made as the delegation arrived in Cap-Haitien, Thomas-Greenfield called on Haiti's new Prime Minister https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/haiti-swear-new-prime-minister-wake-presidents-assassination-2021-07-20 Ariel Henry to create conditions for…
Thomson Reuters Foundation
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