Unrest in Haiti As Marines Arrive to Protect U.S. Embassy

February 23, 2004 - Posted at 4:49 p.m. CDT

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - The Marines have arrived in Haiti.

They flew there today to help protect the U.S. Embassy and its staff from rebels who are threatening to attack the capital.

The opponents of President Jean-Bertrand Arestede are already in control of much of the country, including Haiti's second-biggest city.

A U.S. Air Force transport plane arrived this afternoon at the airport in Port-au-Prince.  Twenty Marines in combat gear and helmets rushed off the plane, and secured a perimeter around the aircraft.  About thirty other Marines then got off the plane.

The rebels are predicting they'll capture Port-au-Prince within a couple of weeks.  Senior government sources in Haiti say frightened Cabinet ministers are asking their friends for places to hide.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)