Michel Martelly

Michel Martelly. Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian President Michel Martelly and his motorcade were attacked as the leader strolled on foot in downtown Port-au-Prince, the National Palace said Friday.

The statement said only that “troublemakers” who had taken refuge in a university were responsible for the afternoon attack on Martelly as he walked near the Champs de Mars plaza.

Witnesses told The Associated Press that rocks were thrown at the president from behind the University of Haiti.

One witness said he saw Martelly hit in the shoulder by a rock.

Martelly “almost fell,” said Stanley Lazard, 25. “Two security guards embraced him and put him in the car. He definitely got hit with a rock.”

The incident led to clashes between students and Martelly supporters, who tore down a fence and entered the school grounds. Students said the president’s backers smashed windows of cars that were parked in the courtyard of the university.

The Haitian Red Cross sent a bus to safely evacuate about a dozen university students from Canada, France and Brazil. They were attending a conference with Haitian students.

Haitian police spokesman Gary Desrosiers said he couldn’t comment.

Government prosecutor Jean-Renel Senatus showed up at the university Friday evening to begin an investigation but declined to comment.



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