Four Brazil soldiers killed in Haiti quake, many missing

Another Brazilian army official said that the majority of buildings in Haiti had either been destroyed or seriously damaged.

Four Brazil soldiers killed in Haiti quake, many missing

At least four Brazilian soldiers from a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti were killed and a large number are missing in the Caribbean country's huge earthquake, a Brazilian army official said on Wednesday.

General Carlos Barcellos of the Brazilian army told a news conference in the capital Brasilia that the total count of Brazilian soldiers missing or killed could be considerably higher because telephones are are down and road transportation is impossible due to wreckage.

"The number of dead and injured may be much higher," he said.

Brazil leads the U.N. peacekeeping force deployed to the poor Caribbean nation in 2004 after a rebellion by gangs and former soldiers forced elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile.

Thousands of people may be dead after the most powerful earthquake to hit Haiti in more than 200 years that toppled the presidential palace and hillside shanties and left the country of 9 million people appealing for international help.

Barcellos said large numbers of civilians have moved toward military bases in search of humanitarian aid.

Another Brazilian army official said that the majority of buildings in Haiti had either been destroyed or seriously damaged.

General Enzo Peri, the army's top officer, will leave for Haiti on Wednesday to assess the situation, said Barcellos. Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim will also travel to Haiti.

Brazil has 1,266 army and navy troops in Haiti as part of the multinational force that as of last year included 9,065 police and military personnel from nations ranging from Jamaica to Sri Lanka.

The South American nation took the lead in commanding the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, as part of its broader effort to boost its influence on the world stage.


Reuters

Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2010, 15:48
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