PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A U.S. Marine was shot and wounded in the Haitian capital, the first American peacekeeping casualty since the ouster of the Caribbean nation's president two weeks ago, Staff Sgt. Timothy Edwards told The Associated Press on Monday.
The Marine was patrolling the Belair neighborhood, a stronghold of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (search), around 9:35 p.m. when he was shot in the left arm, Edwards said. The weapon was believed to be a small-caliber pistol, and the injury is not life-threatening, he said.
Anger has been brewing among residents in the neighborhood since U.S. Marines (search) — under fire — shot and killed two men on Friday. The Marines said the two were gunmen, but no weapons were recovered. Residents said those killed were neither militants nor armed, and that one was playing basketball. Several people were wounded in the fierce but brief firefight.
U.S. troops have been attacked several times and have shot and killed at least six Haitians in the past week. In Aristide strongholds, Marines are seen as an occupation army by militants who believe Aristide's charges that the United States abducted him and forced him to leave the country.
U.S. officials say they acted at Aristide's request and probably saved his life as rebels were preparing to attack Port-au-Prince (search).
All of the 1,600 Marines in Haiti came from Camp Lejeune, N.C. The wounded man was evacuated to Jacksonville Memorial Hospital in Miami, Edwards said.