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Haiti gangs unleash new attacks in upscale areas of capital, at least a dozen killed in suburbs

Gangs attacked two upscale neighbourhoods in Haiti’s capital early Monday in a rampage that left at least a dozen people dead in surrounding areas.

Gunmen looted homes in the communities of Laboule and Thomassin before sunrise, forcing residents to flee as some called radio stations pleading for police. The neighborhoods had remained largely peaceful despite a surge in violent gang attacks across Port-au-Prince that began on Feb. 29.

An Associated Press photographer saw the bodies of at least 12 men strewn on the streets of Pétionville, located just below the mountainous communities of Laboule and Thomassin.

Crowds began gathering around the victims. One was lying face up on the street surrounded by a scattered deck of cards and another found face down inside a pick-up truck known as a “tap-tap” that operates as a taxi. A woman at one of the scenes collapsed and had to be held by others after learning that a relative of hers was killed.

“Abuse! This is abuse!” cried out one Haitian man who did not want to be identified as he raised his arms and stood near one of the victims. “People of Haiti! Wake up!” An ambulance arrived shortly afterward and made its way through Pétionville, collecting the victims.

“We woke up this morning to find bodies in the street in our community of Pétionville,” said Douce Titi, who works at the mayor's office. “Ours is not that kind of community. We will start working to remove those bodies before the children start walking by to go to school and the vendors start to arrive.”

The company said criminals also seized important documents, cables, inverters, batteries and other items.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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