Conflicts & War

4 Wounded in shooting at school in Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Oct 30 (EFE).- Four people were wounded Saturday in a shooting incident at Saint Louis de Bourdon secondary school in the Haitian capital.

A female student, a teacher, the parent of a student and a security guard were shot by would-be kidnappers who burst into the school in Port-au-Prince’s Canape Vert, a source with the knowledge events told Efe.

Haitian media outlets disseminated images of the student being taken away in an ambulance.

Police “are seeking information about the incident,” a spokesman said.

Efe journalists who reached Saint Louis de Bourdon a few hours after the shooting saw police standing guard and a young woman suffering what appeared to be an anxiety attack.

The gunfire at the school came amid a resurgence of violence on the part of well-armed gangs exploiting the near absence of functioning public institutions in the poorest nation in the Americas.

The gangs, widely thought to have ties to wealthy families who dominate the Haitian economy, observed a truce of sorts following the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise and the powerful earthquake that struck the southwestern part of the country on Aug. 14.

But the mayhem resumed in September and has intensified in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago, the 400 Mawozo gang abducted 17 North American missionaries and their families.

The 16 United States citizens and one Canadian are affiliated with Christian Aid Ministries, based in the US state of Ohio.

Gang members intercepted the van carrying the 12 adults and five children as they were returning from a visit to an orphanage.

Both the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have sent investigators to Haiti to work on the case with local authorities, though the White House insists that Washington will not negotiate with the kidnappers, said to be demanding a ransom of $1 million per captive.

During a visit to the Christian Aid Ministries compound in Titanyen, a rural area about an hour outside the capital, Efe heard from the missionaries on Saturday that they have had no news about the captives.

Nearly 750 kidnappings have been reported in Haiti so far this year, including 119 in the last two weeks alone, according to the independent Center for Analysis and Research on Human Rights.

The abduction of the US and Canadian missionaries appeared to be behind the resignation last week of National Police director Leon Charles after less than a year in the post.

Charles had been facing questions since the assassination of Moise, who was brutally slain in his own home despite the presence of a large security detail outside the residence. EFE mmv/dr

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