PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haitian police on Monday shot indiscriminately at scavengers and looters in Port-au-Prince, hitting two in the head as post-quake security deteriorated, an AFP photographer reported.

A group of police, pushed to keep control among a desperate population after the January 12 tremor which killed or injured many of their number and destroyed the city prison, opened fire on a warehouse from a building opposite.

An AFP photographer inside the scavengers' building said two men were hit in the head, one of whom received medical attention. Two others were lying prone on the floor, one lifeless. The other was treated for a serious head wound.

A Haitian man in the street outside said he saw police pistol whip a man.

"This guy was trying to go inside (the warehouse), the cops took a gun straight to the back of the head. I don't know why they do that. It's not fair because everyone in Haiti is hungry," the man, who declined to give his name, said.

Looters and scavengers have moved into the downtown commercial district, taking what they can from the ruins as bulldozers demolished damaged shops and warehouses.

The Haitian government has said the death toll from the January 12 quake, which shattered what little infrastructure existed in the capital and left a million people homeless, is expected to be around 150,000.