Thursday, December 22, 2005

Slain U.N. peacekeeper from Canada honored

Slain U.N. peacekeeper from Canada honored: "Slain U.N. peacekeeper from Canada honored


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A Canadian police officer slain while serving as a U.N. peacekeeper in Haiti was honored Wednesday by volunteers from 30 nations who saluted his casket, which was draped in Canadian and U.N. flags.

Mark Bourque was ambushed and shot in the leg while driving Tuesday with another peacekeeper on the outskirts of the volatile slum of Cite Soleil. He died shortly afterward at a U.N. hospital.

Bourque, 57, from Stoneham, Quebec, was one of 25 retired Canadian police officers who came to Haiti last October to provide support for the Jan. 8 national elections.

'He was an extremely hard worker. He had become an expert in fighting organized crime in Canada, and it was this expertise that had brought him to Haiti,' said Jean Lafaille, a Canadian police officer serving in Haiti.

Bourque's body was to be flown to Quebec later Wednesday. He is survived by his wife and two children.

He was the sixth peacekeeper to die in action since the U.N. mission, which numbers 8,800 soldiers and police, came to stabilize Haiti in June 2004 - four months after a bloody rebellion ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide."

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