News January 05, 2022 at 08:00 am

Haiti’s prime minister survives assassination attempt

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey January 05, 2022 at 08:00 am

January 05, 2022 at 08:00 am | News

Ariel Henry survived an assassination attempt over the weekend, his office said. -- Photo Credit: REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry survived an assassination attempt on Saturday after gunmen opened fire at an event he was attending, his office said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The incident happened in the northern city of Gonaives, and Henry was attending an event at a church to commemorate the island nation’s independence when the gunmen opened fire outside the venue. In a statement on Monday, the prime minister’s office described the gunmen as “bandits and terrorists.” The country’s police also said the shooting was masterminded by “armed groups.”

Video footage that was shared on social media showed Henry and his entourage ducking for cover and running towards their cars after the gunmen opened fire outside the cathedral. In the wake of the incident, local news outlets in the Caribbean nation reported the shooting was possibly orchestrated by gangs. One person was reportedly killed and two other people were injured in the shooting.

Gangs have control over certain areas in Haiti, and gang-related activities have aggravated following the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Prior to the shooting, a local gang boss reportedly threatened Henry on local media, per Reuters. The recent assassination attempt has also reignited worries about the safety of public officials in Haiti.

Arrest warrants have since been issued for the gunmen linked to the shooting, the prime minister’s office said.

Henry was sworn in as Haiti’s Prime Minister following the assassination of President Moise. But his administration has faced opposition over its legitimacy. The Caribbean nation is also yet to announce a date for its presidential election.

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