Haiti: Hostages freed after being held for three weeks

News Buzz Haiti

Christian missionaries held hostage by a Haitian gang have been released after spending nearly four weeks being held hostage, but the group said at least 15 of their fellow missionaries are still being held hostage.

Lambert Francis and Dominique Hentschel were freed on Saturday after being held at a house in Cimtrise, east of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Mr Francis and Mr Hentschel were with 70 others when a gang of armed men kidnapped them last month.

Sixty are believed to have been released by the gang so far, but five are believed to still be in captivity.

Caroline Fabre of the Priestly Mission of Haiti, who said the hostages were held alongside a river with no food or water, expressed deep gratitude to the Haitian government, with whom they were negotiating to secure their release.

“They were held captive and imprisoned against their will, against the law,” she said.

“We ask the Haitian government to assist us so that a resolution can be reached and the release of the other missionaries can also be brought to their aid.”

The missionaries were among the first to arrive in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake which levelled the capital.

In addition to religious work, the group was building schools in Haiti.

However, they were soon targeted by some former villagers who believed they had destroyed their gardens with bulldozers.

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