Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said on Monday that assassins targeted him during the country’s celebration of independence over the weekend.
“An attempt has been made against me personally. My life has been put in the crosshairs,” Henry said.
Clashes between police and armed groups happened during official celebrations in the northern city of Gonaives, about 90 miles north of the capital Port-au-Prince, where Haiti was declared free 200 years ago.
Police, who called Saturday’s attack the work of “armed groups,” were unable to immediately confirm casualties but said that prior to the incident, a local gang boss had made threats against Henry in local media.
“I knew I was taking a risk,” Henry said.
“We cannot let bandits from any background, driven by the lowest financial interests, blackmail the state,” Henry added.
Haiti has been with a paralyzed judiciary and without a functioning parliament for two years as the country continuously fall victim to poverty, natural disasters, and gang violence.
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