14 bodies found in Haiti capital suburb amid gang violence

14 bodies found in Haiti capital suburb amid gang violence

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP): Fourteen bodies were found Monday in a suburb of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, after an attack by gang members who have ravaged the country for weeks, an AFP correspondent reported.

Local residents told AFP they did not know the circumstances of the deaths but said that the affluent suburb of Petion-Ville had been under attack by what they said were armed criminals since early Monday.

Witnesses said gang members attacked a bank, a gas station and homes in the area.

Haiti has been engulfed for two weeks in a gang uprising by well-armed groups saying they want to topple Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Last week Henry agreed to step aside to allow formation of an interim government, following pressure from neighboring Caribbean countries and the United States.

UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, offered a dire assessment of the situation in Haiti, saying Sunday it was “almost like a scene out of ‘Mad Max,’” and warning people were suffering “famine and malnutrition” with aid groups unable to gain access.

On Sunday, a curfew was extended until Wednesday in the Ouest department, which includes Port-au-Prince. A state of emergency is set to end April 3.

Several countries including the US and European Union member states have evacuated diplomatic personnel from Haiti due to the crisis.

Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to organize a Kenyan-led security mission to back up the Caribbean island nation’s overwhelmed police force.