Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti gang raids jail and frees inmates

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An armed gang has attacked a prison in Haiti freeing an unconfirmed number of inmates.

The Croix-des-Bouquets jail held more than 800 prisoners before the Sunday morning attack.

The action caused panic in the area around the capital Port-au-Prince where the prison is located.

"We heard a lot of gunshots, and we saw people running in every direction," a nearby vendor told the AFP news agency.

Among those who escaped is Clifford Brandt, who comes from a wealthy Haitian family and faces charges of kidnapping.

"It was a spectacular escape. There was no battle. A hundred inmates fled the prison," a Haitian lawmaker told journalists.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe visited the area after the raid but made no comments.

The Croix-des-Bouquets prison was built in 2012 with reconstruction money donated by Canada. Haiti was devastated by an earthquake in 2010.

According to the World Bank, Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest nations in the world.

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