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Haiti's government marks 3rd anniversary of devastating earthquake with simple ceremony

President Michel Martelly has presided over a simple ceremony to mark the third anniversary of the killer earthquake that devastated the Caribbean country.

The brief gathering was held Saturday where the National Palace stood before it collapsed in the temblor and was later demolished. Several dozen black-clad senior government officials and diplomats attended.

The disaster killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced more than a million others. Reconstruction has been slow because of political paralysis, the scale of devastation and a trickle of aid.

The last two years, Jan. 12 was observed as a national holiday to remember the quake. This year, the government said the day would no longer be a holiday but called for the Haitian flag to be flown at half-mast and for nightclubs to close.