Charred and mutilated bodies and burning debris littered streets Tuesday after troops crushed a Duvalierist's coup attempt, preserving chances for democracy in this violence-plagued nation.

After coup leader Roger Lafontant was taken into custody on Monday, thousands of Haitians burned buildings and slaughtered his supporters and those of his former boss, ousted dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.At least 40 people were killed, many of them lynched.

Tuesday, looters casually carried away food and merchandise from stores gutted during Monday's disturbances. Police and soldiers were patrolling but appeared to make no attempt to halt the looting.

Many Haitians returned to work, and the capital of Port-au-Prince bustled with traffic snarls. But banks and many stores and gas stations were shut.

Some roads were still partially blocked with the charred hulks of truck and car chassis used as barricades during Monday's rampages. Police loaded bodies onto blue vans for transport to the city morgue.

The violence came a month before Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a leftist Roman Catholic priest, takes office as president. He was the landslide winner of last month's first democratic elections in Haiti's history.

Lafontant, reputed head of the dreaded Tonton Macoute militia that enforced the Duvalier family's 29-year rule, had been barred from running for president and vowed to prevent Aristide from taking office.

It was not immediately known what the army planned for Lafontant, whose whereabouts were not disclosed.

A 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was ordered after the violence.

State television said 12 people were arrested when Lafontant surrendered at the National Palace after a 10-hour standoff in which caretaker President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot was held hostage. She was released unharmed.