U.S. Marines, now the only law in Haiti's second-largest city, reduced their patrols overnight in Cap-Haitien to discourage street celebrations.
In Port-au-Prince, hundreds of pro-U.S. demonstrators took to the streets Monday and surrounded the police precinct headquarters from where the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was launched three years ago. U.S. troops moved in to secure the building.Hundreds more thronged outside army headquarters where military leader Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras met for two hours with U.S. Ambassador William Swing and Lt. Gen. Hugh Shelton, the American commander in Haiti.
The openness of the demonstrations at two of the most dangerous sites for pro-democracy supporters showed the rapidly eroding power of the military a week after the U.S. intervention.
The government issued a communique Monday urging citizens to surrender their weapons at Haitian army outposts. On Sunday, residents turned over their guns to American forces in Cap-Haitien rather than give them to the hated Haitian military.
Col. Barry Willey, a U.S. military spokesman, announced a cash-for-weapons programs starting Tuesday, with American soldiers offering $50 per handgun, $100 for semiautomatic weapons and $200 for automatic weapons.
Few of Haiti's hated security forces were on the streets of Cap-Haitien on Sunday, a day after a Marine patrol killed 10 Haitian gunmen. An estimated 800 police, soldiers and "attaches," civilian gunmen attached to the army, have either gone into hiding or fled, abandoning their police headquarters and an army barracks.
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter, meanwhile, carried 221 Haitian refugees from the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Port-au-Prince Monday. It docked in the late afternoon.
The Haitians, picked up at sea while trying to flee to the United States, volunteered to return after U.S. officials visited their tent camps on the base, officials said.
About 14,000 Haitians are being held at Guantanamo. Since June, nearly 6,000 Haitians detained there have returned voluntarily.
Hundreds of Haitians, emboldened by the deaths of the armed men in the firefight with Marines, ransacked police stations, carrying off guns, identity cards, even musical instruments.
"One of our patrols saw a gesture by an individual with an Uzi machine gun. He took that individual out and a firefight began," said Col. Tom Jones, commanding officer of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
"The lieutenant shot him when he made a gesture to raise his Uzi," Jones continued. He said he could not say who fired first.
A Haitian-American Navy apprentice serving as an interpreter, suffered a flesh wound in the leg during the gun battle Saturday night and was evacuated to the USS Wasp for treatment. A Haitian seriously wounded in the firefight also was taken to the American helicopter carrier.
In the early morning hours Sunday, police and soldiers abandoned their posts. Word spread quickly to the streets, and hundreds poured out to loot the empty buildings.
Crowds also caught at least two attaches, tied their hands behind their backs and turned them over to Marines. The first man, captured Sunday morning, was not harmed. But the second, discovered in his home late in the day, was severely beaten.