Haiti's Prime Minister, Ariel Henry survives assassination attempt

Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry survives assassination attempt

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The Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, escaped an assassination attempt by gunmen in the northern city of Gonaves over the weekend, his office confirmed on Monday night, January 3.

Henry, who has been de facto in charge of the country since the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise, was reportedly attacked during an event commemorating the Caribbean country’s independence on Saturday, January 1.

Mr. Henry and his entourage were seen scrambling toward their vehicles as an armed group opened fire outside the cathedral in Gonaves, according to video footage shared on social media.

Haiti's Prime Minister, Ariel Henry survives assassination attempt

The police, who called Saturday’s attack the work of “armed groups,” were unable to confirm casualties immediately. According to Haitian media, one person was killed and two others were injured in the shooting.

A bullet impact mark on the windscreen of Henry’s armored vehicle is visible in photos provided by his office to AFP. In a phone interview with AFP, Henry stated:

 “I knew I was taking a risk.

“We cannot let bandits from any background, driven by the lowest financial interests, blackmail the state.”

The events take place just weeks after citizens and members of armed gangs in Gonaives violently protested Henry’s visit to their city.

Haiti's Prime Minister, Ariel Henry survives assassination attempt The reported assassination attempt over the weekend has reignited fears about the safety of Haitian officials in the aftermath of Mr. Mose’s assassination.

Mr. Henry, whose administration is under fire for its lack of legitimacy, was sworn in as prime minister only two weeks after Mr. Mose was assassinated by suspected mercenaries. The country has yet to set a date for Mr. Moise’s successor to be elected.

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