Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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Group including Turkish missionaries kidnapped in Haiti -media

(Reuters) -A group of people including at least eight Turkish missionaries has been kidnapped in Haiti after traveling by bus from the Dominican Republic, according to Haitian and Dominican media, amid a wave of gang violence in Haiti.

The abduction occurred on Sunday afternoon near Croix-des-Bouquets, where a group of U.S. and Canadian missionaries was kidnapped last year, according to online news site Haiti24.

Haitian passengers and a Dominican driver were also aboard the bus stopped by the kidnappers on Sunday, Dominican newspaper Listin Diario reported.

Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber quoted diplomatic sources as saying there were eight Turkish citizens aboard the bus and that they had been abducted for ransom by armed groups.

Turkey’s embassy in Santo Domingo, which is also accredited with Haiti, had made contact with the authorities of both countries and efforts were under way to secure the release of its nationals, TRT cited the sources as saying.

A spokesman for the Haitian National Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Dominican diplomat was released last week after being kidnapped while on his way toward the Dominican border.

Gangs have become increasingly powerful since the assassination last year of President Jovenel Moise.

At least 75 people have been killed in turf wars that broke out two weeks ago between gangs near the capital Port-au-Prince, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti said on Friday.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Heinrich)

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