PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, JULY 25 -- A clash yesterday between peasants demanding land reform and crowds representing landowners killed scores of people, radio stations reported today.
A group of several hundred peasants en route to the northwestern village of Jean Rabel were ambushed Friday by assailants, some of whom apparently were members of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier's private militia, the Ton-Tons Macoutes, radio reports said. The number of victims could not be determined because many bodies were dismembered and scattered in ravines, Radio Haiti Internationale reported.
Radio Soleil, the Roman Catholic Church station, and Radio Antilles reported that at least 30 persons were killed and more than 100 wounded. Radio Lumiere, the Protestant station, quoted a clergyman in Port-de-Paix, about 25 miles east of Jean Rabel, as saying more than 200 people may have been killed.
Spokesmen at Radio Soleil and Haiti Internationale said their reports came from contacts on the scene, but could not be immediately verified by correspondents because peasants armed with machetes were blocking the single dirt road leading to Jean Rabel and there are no telephones in Jean Rabel.
A hospital in Jean Rabel has been unable to treat the wounded because of a lack of medicine and blood, the stations reported. They said patients could not be evacuated because of the roadblocks.
Peasants and crowds representing the landowners stoned the hospital yesterday and were beaten back by police when they tried to enter and kill the injured, the stations reported.