Haiti Police Riot After Gangs Kill 14 Officers; Davis Orders Diplomats Leave the Troubled Nation
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Haitian police officers rioted in the streets of Port-au-Prince on Thursday, demanding its government act after armed gangs killed 14 of their colleagues.
Dressed as civilians, officers blocked the streets and entrance to the country’s main airport as Prime Minister Ariel Henry arrived from Argentina where he attended the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Summit(CELAC).
Before flooding the airport, the rioters invaded Henry’s home where gunshots rang off.
Earlier in the day, reports were that police had stopped the local charge d’affairs and taken their vehicles and weapons.
Since then, Prime Minister Philip Davis who returned From Argentina on Wednesday ordered an immediate involuntary departure for Bahamian diplomatic personnel.
All diplomats are reportedly safe.
The National Union of Haitian Police Officers says 14 officers have been killed since the beginning of the year in gang attacks on police stations.
Seven officers were killed in a shootout on Wednesday alone, according to Haiti’s National Police. And in other instances, two officers were killed inside a police station in the country’s northern state, while four were killed execution-style in the streets of Port-au-Prince.
Video circulating social media shows the naked and bloodied bodies of six men stretched out in the street as their guns lay on their chests. Another video shows two masked men smoking cigarettes from the dismembered hands and feet of the dead men.
The gang who killed them, known as Gan Grif, still has the bodies, police said.
As the political and social conditions in Haiti continue to deteriorate, its citizens leave the embattled country in droves for greener pastures like the Bahamas and Florida.
Featured photos: Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol