30 dead in gang attacks in Haitian capital
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, (AFP) – Gang violence in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince has left 30 residents dead and more than a dozen injured, a local human rights group said Thursday.
Houses in the city’s Carrefour-Feuilles neighborhood were set on fire in the attacks and two police officers also died, according to a provisional toll provided to AFP by the National Human Rights Defense Network.
The neighbourhood is a strategic area for the gangs, which control about 80 per cent of Haiti’s capital.
Violent crimes including kidnappings for ransom, carjackings, rapes and armed thefts are common.
One resident, Dominique Charles, told AFP she had lost her mother, stepfather, 18-year-old son, two sisters and a brother.
“The assailants attacked our house with Molotov cocktails. I was able to escape but the other family members were not so lucky,” she said.
In recent days violence in the neighborhood has caused some 5,000 residents to flee, authorities said.
While some of the displaced have found shelter in schools or a local sports centre, others have been stuck in the streets.
Authorities said Thursday they had started distributing meals and water to the survivors.
The Caribbean country is battling humanitarian, political and security crises that have overwhelmed its weak government and security forces.