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Haiti: sporadic shootings, looting and uncertainty mark the day

Sporadic shootings and looting continued this Saturday in several neighborhoods in the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince, Haiticreating a situation of fear, uncertainty and constant alert among the population.

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Although activities have been resumed timidly and with very few people on the streets, public markets have been functioning and people are taking the opportunity to stock up on supplies and prepare for any eventuality that may arise after the disasters. episodes of violence that have been recorded in recent days.

In the center of the capital, people continue to abandon areas where clashes occur, thus increasing the number of displaced people living in refugee camps, fleeing armed bands.

Parents are already wondering about school activities for next Monday, in a context of growing security crisis which has long caused students to miss many hours of class.

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The State University Hospital (HUEH), the only public hospital in the capital, stopped operating due to bloody clashes between police forces and armed gangs.

“We cannot continue operating due to the clashes that have been taking place at the hospital for three days,” the hospital director, Dr. Jude Milcé, told EFE.

The armed gangs, as announced gang leader Jimmy Cherizier aka ‘Barbecue‘, during a press conference held this Friday, are targeting public institutions located in the lower part of the city and areas controlled by gangs that are part of their coalition.

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One of their objectives this Saturday is the National Penitentiary, the country’s main prison located in the center of Port-au-Prince, where numerous gang members are imprisoned, and if the authorities do not take strong measures against the siege in the next few hours, the gangs will go to the prison.

In a note published this Saturday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (Marndr) reported that on the particularly violent day of Thursday, February 29, its facilities were attacked by heavily armed men.

During this strokewhich lasted several hours, the Ministry’s security agents were not spared from the violence and the armed groups took away important administrative documents, including salary checks issued in favor of employees.

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“These bandits destroyed and then looted the institution, taking the materials and equipment”, denounced Marndr, who condemned these acts and warned financial institutions about the consequences of any transaction with Public Treasury checks stolen during the looting.

The Ministry indicated that it is preparing to assess the damage and the extent of the losses and called on the judicial and police authorities to take all necessary and appropriate measures to pursue these criminals.

Shootings and gang-related violence also occur regularly around the US Embassy, ​​and with unrest increasing, it continues to advise all US citizens not to travel to Haiti.

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Furthermore, it recommends that those already in the country exercise extreme caution in conflict zones and avoid demonstrations and other gatherings of people.

Source: Elcomercio

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