The missionaries were abducted from a bus headed to the airport to drop off some members. AFP
As many as 17 American Christian missionaries and their family members were kidnapped on Saturday by gang members in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by an organisation with direct knowledge of the incident.
The “New York Times” reported that the missionaries were on their way home from building an orphanage.
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According to a message from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, "this is a special prayer alert,” the one-minute message said. "Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”
A young man on the roof of his home surveys the neighbourhood of Lavale de Bourdon in Port-au-Prince. AFP
The missionaries were abducted from a bus headed to the airport to drop off some members of the group before continuing to another destination in Haiti, the report said, citing security officials from the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation.
A US government spokesperson said they were aware of the reports on the kidnapping.
"The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said, declining further comment.
Haiti is once again struggling with a spike in gang-related kidnappings that had diminished after President Jovenel Moïse was fatally shot at his private home on July 7.
In the video, two choir members can be seen singing a hymn before they suddenly drop their mics and cower by the side of the altar. As piano music continues to play, a man wielding a rifle enters the screen and is seen taking them away.
The group was snatched by the 400 Mawozo gang, which controls the Croix-des-Bouquets area east of the capital of Port-au-Prince, police inspector Frantz Champagne told the media on Sunday.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread in March, the United States partially closed its border to asylum seekers by invoking a public health law known as “Title 42.” Mexico agreed to allow US authorities to return Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans who had previously transited through
Sources familiar with the details of the accident said that it occurred on Monday afternoon, as a result of a malfunction in the bus's brakes, which led it to collide with a bridge, according to local media.
Mariam Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the Arab League, represented the UAE during the signing ceremony.
They prayed to Allah Almighty to perpetuate the blessings of security and stability, and to revisit the fasting month with more goodness, progress, and prosperity for the UAE and its people.
Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter, “Today, I was briefed, accompanied by my brother, the President of the State, may God preserve him, on the ongoing preparations in the country to host the COP28 Conference of the Parties, in which 70,000 people from 198 countries are expected to participate. Our national team is ready. Protect the planet.”