Sixteen American Christian missionaries and their families, including young children, have been kidnapped by an infamous gang in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.
“The former field director, Dan Hooley, said Sunday morning that all of the adults were staff members for the group [Christian Aid Ministries], which has fewer than 30 people in the country,” reports the New york Times. “Local authorities said the group that was kidnapped included 16 Americans and one Canadian. Mr. Dooley said a 2-year-old and another young child were among them.”
The gang, known as “400 Mawozo,” controls the neighborhood where the missionaries were kidnapped from according to local law enforcement.
“The group has sown terror for several months in the suburbs, engaging in armed combat with rival gangs and perpetrating the kidnapping of businessmen and police officers,” NTY reported in a separate article. “The gang has also introduced a new type of kidnapping in Haiti — kidnapping en masse. For the first time Haiti began to see entire groups kidnapped while transiting on buses or together on the streets.”
The Ohio-based missionary group was kidnapped while traveling on the road on Saturday to a region just north of Port-au-Prince following a visit an orphanage in the inland commune of Croix des Bouquets.