US, Haiti seek release of 17 missionaries snatched by gang
18 Oct 2021
Police officers walk along a street in Port-au-Prince on Saturday. Reuters
Gulf Today Report
US officials are working with Haitian authorities to try to secure the release of 12 adults and five children with a US-based missionary group who were abducted over the weekend by a gang notorious for killings, kidnappings and extortion.
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.
Earlier, a US Christian aid organization on Sunday said a group of its missionaries had been kidnapped in Haiti, a further sign the Caribbean nation's gangs are growing increasingly brazen amid political and economic crises.
The missionaries were abducted from a bus headed to the airport to drop off some members. AFP
The abduction happened Saturday in the community of Ganthier, which lies in the gang's area. It was blamed for the kidnapping of five priests and two nuns earlier this year.
The group was in Haiti to visit an orphanage when their bus was hijacked on Saturday outside the capital Port-au-Prince, according to accounts by other missionaries, amid a spike in kidnappings following the murder of President Jovenel Moise.
Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said it had no information on who was behind the abduction nor where they took the group, which includes 16 Americans and one Canadian.