Port-au-Prince, May 5 (EFE).- Violence is surging and spreading in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, where intense clashes between gangs has left at least 39 people dead in the last two weeks, as well as eight missing and 68 wounded, according to the latest official figures released on Thursday.
The most recent bulletin of the Haiti Civil Protection General Directorate doubles the casualties from the official count on Apr. 27.
Gun battles for control of the territory have been waging between 400 Mawozo and a rival gang, Chen Mechan since Apr. 24.
The clashes broke out in the Croix-des-Bouquets neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, and have spread to the areas of Cité Soleil, Bas Delmas and Martissant in recent days.
At least 23 houses, 48 schools and five hospitals have been torched during the violence, while eight markets have closed their doors and the country’s largest fuel storage depot, Terminal Varreux, has been paralyzed.
The fuel shortage is complicating the plight of the residents of these neighborhoods, from where at least 9,000 people have fled to seek refuge in the capital’s squares and other areas.
The Médecins Sans Frontières-operated trauma hospital in the Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince “has seen a sharp increase in the number of people who are seriously injured” it has received in recent days, the organization’s head of mission in the country, Mumuza Muhindo, told EFE, without specifying the exact number of people treated.
The Tabarre hospital is inside the conflict zones and both staff and patients “can hear loud gunfire outside the hospital on most days,” he said.
The main accesses to Port-au-Prince have been seized by armed groups disputing the territory amid inaction by the authorities, which have been unable to halt the escalation in violence, exacerbated by the assassination of president Jovenel Moise in July last year. EFE