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At Least 5 Dead After Gangs Storm Haiti’s Main Prison, Hundreds Of Inmates Escape

Gunmen stormed Haiti's main prison on Saturday night, forcing hundreds of inmates to escape and at least five people to die, according to the Associated Press.

Chaos erupted at the country's main prison in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince after gangs stormed the detention center and released scores of unidentified inmates onto the streets. according to To France 24. Attacks occurred in multiple locations. Haitian Ministry of Communications He acknowledged the incident in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday. (Related: State judges slammed for releasing hundreds of people accused of violent crimes)

“During the outbreak of violence in several locations, criminals with large guns called for the release of people imprisoned for murder, kidnapping and other serious crimes,” the communications ministry said. “With the collusion of some people, the criminals did not hesitate to kill civilians, loot public and private property, and set fires. Unfortunately, the police prevented the bandits from releasing many prisoners. I couldn’t.”

“This bloody attack left many injured, not only prisoners but also prison staff.”

Arnel Remy, a lawyer for a nonprofit organization working in prisons, said: claimed After an estimated 3,597 prisoners escaped after the attack, only 99 remained in prison, according to online postings. However, the government has not yet released the exact number of fugitive criminals.

In the aftermath of the incident, three bodies with gunshot wounds were found at the entrance to the prison. Two other bloody bodies were found in a nearby neighborhood near burning tires set up as barricades. according to To AP.

Video footage posted on X reportedly The scene captured the chaotic moment as residents fled as gunshots rang out repeatedly in the background. The exact location of the footage remains unclear, but gunshots can be heard off-camera and multiple people can be seen flying low over what appears to be a cemetery.

Another clip showed burning tires set up as barricades as people nearby looked on, along with an interview with Gary Jean-Baptiste, a member of the national police union. Jean-Baptiste criticized national officials, saying police “have to protect themselves” on the country's streets.

“We can solve the security problems that currently plague this country. But even though the people don't have armored cars and the police don't have bulletproof vests, the authorities in the country all drive armored cars. It's outrageous that I'm riding around in a car. I paid for this vest and helmet that I'm wearing now out of my own pocket. The police didn't give them to me. They didn't have the proper equipment. They are taking to the streets on their own,” Jean-Baptiste said.

The latest incident comes after a sudden increase in organized gang attacks in Port-au-Prince, with four police officers killed in a shootout. according to Go to CBS News. According to the paper, gang leaders announced that “all armed groups” would actively work to force Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign.

“Today we declare that all armed groups will take action to force Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign,” said gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérisier.

“We will adopt all strategies to achieve this goal,” he added. “We are responsible for everything that is happening on our streets right now.”

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