Haiti prison break: All inmates escape from Aquin

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Image caption,
The prisoners reportedly made their escape while police were distracted by anti-government protests nearby

All 78 inmates of a prison in southern Haiti have escaped from captivity, according to the country's police.

The detainees reportedly made their escape from Aquin prison while police were distracted by anti-government protests nearby

Haiti's national police force said it has launched an investigation into the incident.

It comes after days of demonstrations against President Jovenel Moise, which have left at least four people dead.

Speaking with Haiti newspaper Le Nouvelliste, Chief Inspector Ralph Stanley Brice said the prisoners had initially left their cells for a scheduled shower.

They later refused to return to their cells, and took advantage while police were distracted by a demonstration by protesters outside the prison and its adjoining police station.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Haiti has been rocked by six days of protests following allegations of corruption against President Jovenel Moise

Mr Brice added that barricades made by protesters had blocked police reinforcements sent from Les Cayes, a town nearly 34 miles (55km) away.

The island nation has witnessed six days of protests after a court report alleged that officials and former ministers had misappropriated development loans made by Venezuela to Haiti after 2008.

The report also suggested that President Moise had been involved in irregularities.

Mr Moise - who has been in power since 2017 - has called for talks with the opposition, with no success so far.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Caribbean and 60% of the population live on less than $2 (£1.53) a day.