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Haiti Government Declares State Of Emergency After Thousands Of Prisoners Escape In the Biggest Jail Break

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After an outburst of violence over the weekend that saw armed gang members overrun the two largest prisons in the country, Haiti’s government announced a state of emergency and a nighttime curfew late on Sunday in an attempt to retake control of the streets.

The government said that it would search for the murderers, kidnappers, and other violent criminals who had reportedly escaped from the prison, and as a result, a 72-hour state of emergency was declared.

“The acting prime minister, Finance Minister Patrick Boivert, ordered the police to use every legal means at their disposal to enforce the curfew and apprehend all offenders,” the statement read.

Last week, Prime Minister Ariel Henry left the country to attempt to win backing for a security force backed by the UN to keep the nation stable throughout its fight against more potent criminal organisations.

The proclamation put an end to a horrific weekend that represented a new low in Haiti’s violent decline. Since Thursday, at least nine people have died in Port-au-Prince, including four police officers, as gangs intensified their coordinated attacks on government buildings. Police stations, the nation’s international airport, and even the national football stadium were among the targets.

But even for Haitians, used to live under continual danger of violence, the National Penitentiary’s siege on Saturday night was unexpected. During the jailbreak, nearly all of the estimated 4,000 prisoners escaped, while at the prison entryway lay three dead, all of them wounded by gunshots.

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