Haiti police recover hijacked cargo ship after five-hour shootout with gangs

8 April 2024, 16:54

Haiti Violence
Haiti Violence. Picture: PA

Two police officers were injured and an undetermined number of gang members were killed.

Haiti’s National Police agency says that it has recovered a hijacked cargo ship laden with rice following a gunbattle with gangs that lasted more than five hours.

Two police officers were injured and an undetermined number of gang members were killed in the shootout that occurred on Saturday off the coast of the capital, Port-au-Prince, authorities said in a statement.

It was a rare victory for an underfunded police department that has struggled to quell gang violence following a spate of attacks that began on February 29.

Police said in the statement that those responsible for the hijacking were members of two gangs, named the 5 Seconds and the Taliban gang. They said gunmen seized the transport ship Magalie on Thursday as it left the port of Varreux.

Radio Tele Metronome reported that the gangs kidnapped everyone aboard the ship and stole some 10,000 sacks of rice out of the 60,000 sacks it was carrying.

Haiti Violence
A man runs for cover as riot police launch tear gas in an effort to remove street vendors in the Champs de Mars area, next to the National Palace, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Odelyn Joseph/AP)

The ship was headed to the northern coastal city of Cap-Haitien.

On Sunday, online news site Radio graphie reported that the Taliban gang used a front loader to demolish a police station in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Canaan where at least four police officers were killed in a recent attack. The station was no longer operational.

The most recent gunbattle between police and gangs comes more than a month after gunmen began targeting key government infrastructure. They have burned down multiple police stations, opened fire on the main international airport that remains closed and stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates.

The ongoing violence forced Prime Minister Ariel Henry to announce he would resign once a transitional presidential council is formed.

Henry was in Kenya to push for the UN-backed deployment of a police force from the East African country when the attacks began and remains locked out of Haiti.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty in Arizona election interference case

Spain’s embassy in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Spain withdraws ambassador to Argentina over comments made by President Milei

Former US president Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Defence rests without Donald Trump entering witness box in hush money trial

British pensioner, 73, killed during London-Singapore flight named as musical theatre director Geoffrey Kitchen

Pictured: Pensioner, 73, killed during London-Singapore flight named as British musical theatre director

Exclusive
The two relatives of the hostages appealed for the Israeli government to push for a ceasefire.

Relatives of hostages held by Hamas after October 7 attacks urge Israeli government to reach ceasefire

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock in Kyiv, Ukraine

Germany’s foreign minister says air defences for Ukraine an ‘absolute priority’

The granddaughter of Elvis Presley is fighting plans to publicly auction his Graceland estate in Memphis

Elvis Presley’s granddaughter fights company’s attempt to sell Graceland estate

Elon Musk

Tesla shareholders ask investors to vote against Musk’s compensation package

Mourners gather around a truck carrying coffins of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions who were killed in a helicopter crash

Mourners begin days of funerals for Iran’s president killed in helicopter crash

British pensioner, 73, dead after 'heart attack' when London-Singapore flight plummeted during severe turbulence

British pensioner, 73, dead after 'heart attack' when London-Singapore flight plummeted during severe turbulence

Syria’s first lady Asma Assad, second left, with her husband Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s wife, Asma Assad, diagnosed with leukaemia

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron to visit violence-hit New Caledonia

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel aims to contain fallout from arrest warrant request backed by some allies

One of nine Egyptians, who was on trial for migrant smuggling, waves to the media as he leaves the court in Kalamata

Greek judge dismisses case against Egyptians accused over migrant ship disaster

Main defendant Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss

Alleged leaders of suspected German coup plot on trial

People attend a ceremony to pay tribute to Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi

What next for Iran’s government after death of president in helicopter crash?