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InternationalNearly 4,000 Prisoners Flee Maximum Security Prison in Unprecedented Gang Attack in...

Nearly 4,000 Prisoners Flee Maximum Security Prison in Unprecedented Gang Attack in Haiti, Exposing Security Crisis


Haiti was thrown into chaos this weekend as armed gangs stormed the country's largest prison, unleashing a wave of violence across the capital of Port-au-Prince that allowed for the escape of nearly 4,000 inmates. In a brazen attack that exposed Haiti's deteriorating security situation, gang members overpowered guards at the Penitentiary on Saturday night before freeing prisoners from their cells. By the following morning, all that remained were a handful of heavily guarded foreign nationals and the splay of personal items littering empty prison yards.

With no official information forthcoming, panicked families descended on the prison looking for loved ones, unsure if they were still alive or among the escaped. “I don't know what to do,” lamented one mother searching in vain for her son. The chaos was widespread, with neighborhoods across Port-au-Prince engulfed by the sound of gunfire long into the night. Reports indicated a second prison break and hostage situation at a soccer stadium, cutting off internet access across parts of the city as communications lines were damaged.

The unprecedented scale of the coordinated attacks points to a dangerous new level of power wielded by criminal gangs in Haiti. With police outnumbered and outgunned, senior gang leaders had been imprisoned alongside over 4,000 others in hopes of weakening their ability to sow havoc. But in a single bold stroke, this plan was undone, likely further empowering gangs to tighten their control over more territory and plunge the nation into even deeper unrest. Haiti's security crisis now threatens to spiral out of control without urgent intervention. As families search for missing loved ones and the escaped spread across the country, this prison break marks a new low point in Haiti's downward spiral of violence and lawlessness.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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