Haiti police plead for help as armed gangs storm main prison

Armed groups have stormed Haiti’s largest prison, defying police forces who have called for help after days of gunfire in parts of the capital as a major gang leader seeks to topple Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Two of the Caribbean country’s main police unions called for assistance on Saturday to stop inmates, many considered to be high-profile criminals, from fleeing the National Penitentiary in Port-Au-Prince.

It was unclear how many had fled the prison, a number that the newspaper Gazette Haiti said was “significant”. Some detainees were reluctant to leave en masse for fear of being killed in crossfire, sources told Reuters news agency.

Police officers assigned to the prison had vacated the premises on Saturday, according to reports by local media AyiboPost.

The government of Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, did not comment on the situation on Saturday.

Prime Minister Henry is in Kenya to salvage a proposed security mission in Haiti to be led by that East African country and backed by the United Nations.

Credit: aljazeera.com


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