Over 10 US missionaries, family members abducted in Haiti

US missionaries abducted in Haiti

A gang in Port-au-Prince abducted 17 Christian missionaries from the United States and their family members, including children, as they were leaving an orphanage on Saturday, Haitian security officials reported.

The missionaries were taken from a bus heading to the airport to drop off some members of the group before continuing on to another location in Haiti, according to local officials.

This was also confirmed by an official of the US state department.

Kidnappings of both the affluent and the poor have become all too prevalent in Haiti, which has been in a state of political turmoil for years.

Even in a region where lawlessness is common, the kidnapping of such a big group of Americans stunned officials.

The kidnapping of the American missionaries occurred just one day after the UN Security Council unanimously extended its mission in Haiti for another nine months on Friday.

The capital, Port-au-Prince, is experiencing an uptick in violence. Gangs now control approximately half of the city, according to some estimates.

Gangs opened fire on a school bus in Port-au-Prince on Monday, wounding at least five persons, including kids, while another public vehicle was also kidnapped.

As the country’s politics have crumbled, security has deteriorated. Demonstrators angry over rampant corruption requested President Jovenel Mose’s resignation two years ago, virtually paralyzing the country.

The country has been in a state of political turmoil since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by gunmen in his home in July, a case that has yet to be solved by local law enforcement.

In the power battle that ensued, Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon whom Mose had named prime minister two days before he was gunned down, gained control of the country.

Just weeks later, Haitians suffered a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake in August that killed hundreds of people and leveled buildings.

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