2 missionaries released, US group says
Two of the 17 members of one mission group kidnapped in October has been released in Haiti and is safe, an Ohio-based church organization announced Sunday.
Christian Aid said it could not provide or confirm the names of those released, the reason for their release, where they came from or their location.
“Only limited information can be provided, but we can report that the two hostages who have been released are safe, in good spirits and being cared for,” the organization wrote in a news release.
The kidnapping occurred on October 16, days after a group of American officials visited the impoverished country and pledged to support its anti-gang measures. There are five children in a group of 16 US citizens and one Canadian. Their Haitian driver was also kidnapped.
A Haitian gang called 400 Mawozo has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. The leader of the gang, Wilson Joseph, threatened to kill missionary if his request is not met.
“I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I asked for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans,” he said in a video posted on social media days after the abduction.
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He also threatened Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the Haitian National Police Chief, Léon Charles.
At least 328 kidnapping victims were reported to the Haitian National Police in the first eight months of 2021, compared with a total of 234 for the whole of 2020, according to a report by the United Nations Office in Haiti known as BINUH. in September.
The US government urges US citizens to leave Haiti because of the country’s deepening insecurity and severe fuel shortages.
Contribution: Associated Press