National Guardsmen arrive in New Orleans to stop violence

The troops, in full camouflage fatigues, carried M-16s, handguns and belt clips of ammunition as they arrived in a convoy of 75 vehicles on Tuesday. They parked their Humvees and tanker trucks in formation in front of the Convention Center.

About 100 soldiers will patrol the streets in ravaged neighborhoods left deserted by Katrina, freeing up police officers to concentrate on more heavily populated sections.

Many community leaders have expressed concerns that an increase in crime could discourage people from returning to the city during its reconstruction.

Up to 200 more Guardsmen will be sent in later, bringing the total in the city to 300. In addition, 60 state police officers were sent to help keep the peace.

Nathan Chapman, president of a neighborhood organization, said he thinks people are happy authorities are doing something about the violence, the AP reports.

But Noel Scallan, executive assistant at a luxury French Quarter hotel, said calls poured in from people planning to attend a national library convention moments after it was announced that the National Guard would be sent in.