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Haiti prime minister survives assassination attempt

January 3, 2022

Gunmen tried and failed to kill Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, his office have said. Henry became prime minister not long after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise last July.

Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry talks with members of his cabinet shortly after his appointment
Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry's office said he had narrowly evaded an assassination attempt in the northern city of Gonaives while marking the country's independenceImage: Joseph Odelyn/AP/picture alliance

The office of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said in a statement Monday that would-be assassins tried and failed to kill Henry at an event commemorating independence Saturday.

Henry was unable to deliver a speech as planned due to gunfire.

"An attempt has been made against me personally. My life has been put in the crosshairs," Henry told AFP.

His office accused "bandits and terrorists" of attempting an assassination. 

What happened in the shooting?

The gunfire caused Henry to duck and cover while exiting Saint-Charles-de-Borome Cathedral in the northern city of Gonaives following mass Saturday marking the 218th anniversary of Haiti's independence from former colonial power France.

Local media reported one person was shot to death and two others were injured.

Haiti's national police did not confirm the figures.

Henry's office said warrants for the arrest of suspects responsible for the incident are outstanding.

Who is Ariel Henry?

Henry was appointed soon after the assassination of the late President Jovenel Moise last July. Moise was killed by mercenaries in his residence.

Haiti has been wracked by instability since Moise's assassination.

The US and Canada have both urged their citizens to leave Haiti.

ar/rt (AP, Reuters)