Thousands Flee as Shootings, Arson, and Violence Rock Port-Au-Prince Haiti

A bloody series of shootings, arson, and other gang-related violence has engulfed Port-Au-Prince in Haiti since June 1 forcing an estimated 13,600 people to flee their homes.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said criminal activity and territorial disputes between an estimated 95 armed gangs are causing the “widespread panic” in Port-au-Prince.

Armed gangs have targeted local police and set fire to swathes of civilian homes and camps for people with disabilities.

OCHA and other local partners reported that civilians have been threatened, injured, sexually assaulted, or killed, and homes have been looted and burned.

“The government vehemently condemns these abominable actions and the blind violence which sows trouble and mourning in every level of the Haitian population,” said a statement from Haiti’s government.

The statement also condemned the recent series of killings on Tuesday night claiming the lives of radio journalist Diego Charles and activist Antoinette Duclair among others.

The US Embassy in Haiti has expressed concern over the violence and called for action from the Haitian government in a statement released Wednesday.

The Prime Minister’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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