U.S. Troops Heading for Haiti to Boost Security, Aid

Justin Blum and Chris Dolmetsch
Bloomberg
Monday, January 18th, 2010

More U.S. troops are arriving in Haiti today after the American commander on the ground said that security must be improved to ensure aid reaches survivors of last week’s earthquake.

“We need a safe and secure environment to be successful,” U.S. Southern Command Lieutenant General Ken Keen, who is overseeing relief efforts, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “There is increasing incidents of security and we are going to have to deal with it as we go forward.”

Aid workers are battling street violence and shortages of food, medical supplies after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck on Jan. 12, killing more than 100,000 people. Keen said on ABC’s “This Week” an estimate that between 150,000 and 200,000 people may have been killed is “a start point.” The quake affected 3 million people and left 300,000 homeless in Port-au-Prince, according to the United Nations.

Keen said there are 1,000 U.S. troops currently on the ground in Haiti. A further 3,000 other troops are working from ships docked off Haiti’s coast and two additional companies of the 82nd Airborne Division are arriving in addition to Marines aboard the USS Bataan and a Marine landing battalion, the American Forces Press Service said. A total of 7,500 U.S. personnel are scheduled to arrive by today, the U.S. Southern Command said in a statement.

View the original article at Bloomberg

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