No fewer than 17 United States (US) Christian missionaries and their families were reported to have been kidnapped by gunmen in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Among those abducted by the gunmen after performing humanitarian duties from the country’s capital included 14 adults and three minors.
As gathered, the missionaries were picked by the gunmen after they left an orphanage home, where they had gone to perform their duties, in the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation.
The abduction of the missionaries and their family members yesterday were disclosed in an audio message from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.
In the voice monitored by The Guild, men, women and children associated with the missionary group were being held by an armed gang.
“The mission field director and the American embassy are working to see what can be done. Pray that the gang members will come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ”, the voice disclosed.
They were traveling to Titanyen after visiting the orphanage in the Croix des Bouquets area, CNN said. The Times, citing local officials, said the missionaries were taken from a bus headed to the airport to drop off some members of the group before continuing to another destination in Haiti.
The U.S. State Department is aware of the reports, a spokesperson told newsmen, but did not offer details. “The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad are one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said in an email.
The U.S. Embassy in Haiti did not respond to a request for comment outside business hours. A spokeswoman for the Haitian police said she was seeking information on the issue.
A surge in gang violence has displaced thousands and hampered economic activity in the poorest country in the Americas. Violence spiraled after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July and an earthquake in August that killed over 2,000 people.