PORT-A-PRINCE (Reuters) – Gang members abducted 17 American Christian missionaries and their families in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on Saturday.
The abductions took place after missionaries left an orphanage in a crisis-stricken Caribbean nation, the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/16/world/americas/missionaries-kidnap-haiti.html and CNN https: // edition.cnn.com/2021/10/17/americas/haiti-american-missionary-kidnap-intl-hnk/index.html says.
The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/10/17/haiti-american-missionaries-kidnapped reports that an audio from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said “men, women and children” Was in the hands of the armed clique.
“The field director of the mission and the American embassy are working to see what can be done,” the audio was quoted as saying. “Pray that the gang members will repent and come to faith in Jesus Christ.”
According to CNN, the dead included one adult and three minors.
According to CNN, they were on their way to Titanian after visiting an orphanage in the Crix des Bouquets area. The missionaries were taken to the airport by a bus to drop off some members of the group before heading to another destination in Haiti, the Times reported, citing local officials.
The State Department is aware of the report, a spokesman told Reuters but did not provide details. “The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the State Department’s highest priorities,” the spokesman said in an email.
The U.S. embassy in Haiti did not respond to a request for comment outside of business hours. A Haitian police spokesman said he was seeking information on the matter.
Christian Aid Ministries did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The wave of gang violence has displaced thousands and disrupted economic activity in America’s poorest countries. Violence erupted after the assassination of President Jovenal Moises in July and an earthquake in August that killed more than 2,000 people.
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