Gang attack kills 3 cops

Aiding a person in distress proves fatal for police

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) — Gang members attacked a police patrol in Haiti’s capital, killing three officers and another person, the National Police said Saturday.

Another officer is now missing after the ambush Friday and another was seriously wounded, the National Police said in a statement carried on social media.

The attack came as officers were trying to aid a person in distress in Petionville, an affluent area that overlooks the capital of the poorest country in the Americas.

Haiti has been mired in a political and economic crisis for years, with widespread lawlessness, poverty and despair. The assassination of president Jovenel Moise in July 2021 triggered another acute downturn in national stability.

Powerful and well-armed gangs control much of the country and regularly kidnap people and hold them for ransom.

On Saturday the National Police called for calm and said it would make “all necessary efforts” to fight the gangs.

The force has about 13,000 officers, according to the United Nations, which makes for one police for every 1,000 inhabitants — far fewer than needed to take on the gangs. Human rights groups say the armed groups now control more than half of Haiti’s territory.

Haiti made a formal appeal in October for international aid to help restore law and order but so far, no plans have been announced.


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