3 more hostages released in Haiti, US religious group says

BOGOTA, Colombia: Three more missionaries kidnapped in Haiti in October were released on Sunday, according to a statement from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries without giving further details.

The statement from the religious group said the people were released in Haiti and are “safe and seem to be in good spirits.”

“We are thankful to God that three more hostages were released last night,” said the statement published on Monday. “As with the previous release, we are not able to provide the names of the people released, the circumstances of the release, or any other details.”

Sunday’s release follows one that took place on Nov. 21, when two hostages were freed. Twelve people are still being held.

“Please continue to intercede for those who are still being held as well as those who have been released. We long for all the hostages to be reunited with their loved ones,” the church group said.

The mass abduction occurred on Oct. 16 when an armed group kidnapped 16 American missionaries and a Canadian citizen who were visiting an orphanage when their bus was seized in a town called Ganthier in Port-au-Prince.

The Haitian gang known as 400 Mawozo, one of the country’s oldest and most dangerous gangs, demanded a million dollars each for their release and threatened to kill the hostages unless the demands were met. US and Haitian authorities have remained silent on negotiations to free the hostages.

The Caribbean island is struggling with a spike in kidnappings, according to Haitian human rights groups. At least 782 kidnappings were recorded up to the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights (CARDH) reported.

The humanitarian situation in Haiti has worsened since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in June. Tensions are rising amid criminal gang violence, shortages of fuel, increases in food prices and a political vacuum that has plunged Haitians into deep uncertainty about the future.​​​​​​​–Anadolu

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