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Soldiers deployed in New Orleans
(BBC News, 20 June 2006)
U.S. soldiers are set to be redeployed on the streets of New Orleans to fight crime for the first time since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. . . . The Louisiana governor asked for the National Guard to return to New Orleans after a weekend that saw six people murdered in the city. . . . New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had earlier called for 300 soldiers and some 60 state police to be sent to the city. . . . Crime has risen in the city after a brief drop following Hurricane Katrina. . . . The six deaths over the weekend raised the number of murders in New Orleans this year to 52, police said. . . . Police statistics show crime has risen in recent months. . . . According to the BBC's James Coomarasamy, there are concerns about external troops being allowed to police New Orleans - but city officials say safety is paramount, especially if those who fled the hurricane are to be lured back. . . . New Orleans has long been regarded as a hotbed of violent crime but the crime rate there fell sharply in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. . . . However, residents have been complaining that a lack of adequate schooling and housing as a result of the hurricane has forced the crime rate up again. . . . A Florida National Guard spokesman told the Associated Press news agency some 15,000 soldiers had been sent to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, of which 2,000 stayed until February this year. . . . [At least] 1,500 people were killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes when Hurricane Katrina lashed the southern US.



posted by Lorenzo 9:20 AM


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