| Updated at: 0621 PST, Thursday, November 18, 2010|
PORT-AU-PRINCE: A man was shot dead and several others injured on Wednesday in fresh rioting in northern Haiti, as protesters clashed with UN peacekeepers blamed for the cholera outbreak, a police source said.
Aid workers complained that protests were again holding up relief operations in the troubled second city of Cap Haitien, while a top UN official said the demonstrations were being "orchestrated".
Two local Haitians were killed in riots in Cap Haitien on Monday, one shot by a UN peacekeeper as protesters set a police station and vehicles ablaze and threatened to torch a UN compound.
A police source told AFP a third person was shot dead in fresh rioting in the city on Wednesday afternoon. It wasn't clear if the latest fatality was a UN peacekeeper, a member of the Haitian police, or a protester.
UN spokesman Vincenzo Pugliese could not confirm the fatality, but said UN workers had not been able to get to work on Wednesday because of the tensions in the city.
The Oxfam aid group confirmed the protests and said it was worried that the unrest could lead to a faster spread of the cholera that has already killed more than 1,100 people in the country.
"Roads are blocked with protesters and burning tires, and we physically can't get to our work sites, especially with trucks carrying crucial supplies like soap, water tablets or rehydration salts," said Julie Schindall, Oxfam spokeswoman in Haiti.
"We have told our staff, most of whom are Haitian and live in Cap-Haitien, to stay at home while our operations are suspended. The few international staffers have been told to stay at the office for now."
The UN said that in one incident this week, a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse had been looted of 500 tonnes of food and burned.
Schindall said: "The violence is delaying our cholera response in Cap-Haitien. We're obviously frustrated by it and worried for the people that desperately need clean water.
"The faster we'll be able to do our work, the less likely the outbreak is likely to spread. It would not be surprising to see a rise in cases because of the delay."
One humanitarian worker in the city told AFP that bottles of rum had been seen handed over to protesters as a reward. And UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, said the protests are "clearly orchestrated".
A presidential election is to be held in Haiti in less than two weeks.
"We call upon all involved in these clearly orchestrated demonstrations to stop immediately so national and international partners can continue to save lives with our response to the cholera," Fisher said in a statement.
Medical staff are overwhelmed and cholera deaths are rising, he added.
Supplies in Cap-Haitien are running low and the United Nations has been forced to cancel flights carrying soap, medical supplies and personnel to Cap-Haitien and Port de Paix, according to Fisher.
About 7.5 percent of the cholera cases in the Nord department are dying, the highest rate in Haiti, according to the UN.
"It is vital that everything possible is done to contain this outbreak in Cap-Haitien while we still can. But this is very difficult in the current environment," said Fisher.