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Violence erupts in Surinam
Published on:Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 12:04
In the South American country of Surinam, 13 people have been injured in riots in Albina, a small town on the border with French Guiana. The violence began on Thursday evening and was sparked by the death of a Surinamese man, who had apparently had a heated exchange with a Brazilian national.
The town is currently home to many Chinese and Brazilians searching for gold. Although this has led in the past to conflict with the Marrons, the local residents, it has never before resulted in such violence.
After the death of the Surinamese man, the Marron community went on the rampage and burned down a small three-storey shopping centre, a petrol station and a fireworks storage facility. Several Brazilians were attacked. Twenty women staying in a hotel housing foreigners were raped.
The government in the capital Paramaribo has now opened an empty army barracks to offer Brazilian and Chinese people temporary safety. It has also despatched army reinforcements to the town. Troops from neighbouring French Guiana are helping to keep order.
Local police say they have made four arrests.
Photo of Albina from Wikimedia Commons