Stabroek News

Haitian prime minister survives assassinat­ion attempt -PM’s office


PORT-AU-PRINCE, (Reuters) - Gunmen unsuccessf­ully attempted to assassinat­e Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry during an event on Saturday commemorat­ing the Caribbean country’s independen­ce, his office said in a statement.

Henry’s office said yesterday that “bandits and terrorists” had tried to shoot the prime minister at a church in the northern city of Gonaives where the ceremony marking the 218th anniversar­y of independen­ce was taking place.

Video footage broadcast on social media showed Henry and his entourage scrambling toward their vehicles as an armed group began shooting outside the cathedral in Gonaives.

Haitian media pointed to possible gang involvemen­t in the shooting, which they said killed one person and injured two more.

Gangs’ hold on parts of Haiti has strengthen­ed since the assassinat­ion of President Jovenel Moise in July.

Police, who called Saturday’s attack the work of “armed groups,” were unable to immediatel­y confirm casualties. Prior to the incident, a local gang boss had made threats against Henry in local media.

The prime minister’s office said arrest warrants had been issued for the suspects who fired on Henry’s convoy.

The attack has renewed concerns about the safety of officials in Haiti since Moise’s assassinat­ion.

Henry, whose administra­tion is facing mounting challenges to its legitimacy, was sworn in as prime minister barely two weeks after Moise’s killing at the hands of suspected mercenarie­s. The country has yet to set a date to elect Moise’s successor.

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