Haiti prison break: Thousands of inmates escape after armed gangs storm jails

Hait’s government declared a state of emergency Sunday during a weekend of extreme violence, including the storming of the country’s two biggest prisons, allowing thousands of inmates to escape.

Police and prison staff were killed and injured in the “criminal acts,” the country’s government said in its announcement, which also included a nighttime curfew until Wednesday.

A demonstrator holds up an Haitian flag during protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

Nearly 4,000 prisoners escaped one prison, and a prison containing 1,400 prisoners was also overrun, causing “massive population displacements and consisting in particular of kidnappings and assassinations of peaceful citizens, violence against women and children, ransacking and theft of public and private property,” the government said.

Gangs have coordinated their attacks in recent days, targeting the
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