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Haitian PM survives weekend assassination attempt – PM’s office

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry speaks at the inauguration of the Minister of Culture and Communications on November 26, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. REUTERS / Ralph Tedy Erol

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was shot dead by gunmen during an event marking Saturday’s Independence Day celebrations in the Caribbean, his office said in a statement.

Henry’s office said Monday that “robbers and terrorists” attempted to shoot the prime minister at a church in the northern city of Connie’s, marking the 218th Independence Day.

Video footage circulated on social media showed Henry and his entourage heading towards their vehicles as an armed group opened fire outside the cathedral in Conway.

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Haitian media reported that the mob may have been involved in the shooting, in which one person was killed and two others were injured.

Gangs have tightened their grip on parts of Haiti since the assassination of President Jovnell Moyes in July.

Police said Saturday’s attack was the work of “armed groups” but could not immediately confirm the casualties. Prior to the incident, a local gang boss had threatened Henry in the local media.

The Prime Minister’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for the suspects who opened fire on Henry’s convoy.

The attack has renewed concerns about the security of officers in Haiti since Mois was assassinated.

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Henry, whose administration faces growing challenges to its legitimacy, took over as prime minister two weeks after Moyes was killed at the hands of suspected mercenaries. The country has not yet set a date for selecting Moyes’ successor.

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Report by Kesika Thomas; Editing by Cynthia Asterman and Bill Berkrod

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.