Seven clergy in Haiti abducted by armed gang

Seven Catholic clergy, including two French nationals, were abducted in Haiti on Sunday. This is what a spokesperson for the local bishops conference said.

Five priests and two nuns were abducted on Sunday morning in Croix-des-Bouquets, a municipality northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince. At that time, the clergy were on their way to the appointment of a new priest for the parish.

According to an elder of the Catholic Church, the kidnappers would demand a million dollars of ransom in exchange for their release.

According to local authorities, an armed gang called โ€œ400 Mawozoโ€ is behind the kidnappings. That gang is regularly engaged in abductions on the island.

Its been restless in Haiti for a long time. In recent months, the number of ransom kidnappings has increased in Port-au-Prince and other provinces, indicating the growing influence of armed gangs.

In March, the government of the Caribbean island declared a one-month state of emergency to restore state authority in the areas where gangs operate. The measure was introduced because of the actions of armed gangs โ€œkidnapping people for ransom, openly releasing them, robbing and robbing public and private property and openly challenging the public security forcesโ€, says a presidential decree on the state of emergency.