CROIX-DES-BOUQUETS, Haiti – At least seven prisoners and a police officer were killed and one other injured Thursday after several inmates, including one of Haiti’s most powerful gang leaders, escaped from a prison in Port-au-Prince, the capital , the authorities said.
National police spokesman Gary Desrosiers told the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste that around 40 prisoners were arrested after the uprising at Croix-des-Bouquets civil prison in northern Port-au-Prince. It is not known how many prisoners in total had fled.
Before his arrest, gang leader Arnel Joseph was the most wanted gangster in Haiti.
Haitian Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe told Le Nouvelliste that the authorities had regained control of the prison, which also went on a major hiatus in 2014, during which more than 300 inmates escaped.
Local residents told The Associated Press that they saw a group of heavily armed men shoot prison guards before inmates began to flee.
A refugee, Jhon Hippolyte, 37, was shot in the back. He told The AP that he was serving a murder sentence and was in the infirmary when he noticed everyone was running and decided to join them.
AP journalists saw the bodies of at least seven men on streets near the prison. They appeared to have been shot. Their identities were not immediately available and it was not clear if they were inmates. It was also not clear who had killed her.
The video recorded by local residents shows a police officer leading a group of men who are tied together with a rope. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they were inmates.