FBI Reportedly Helping Secure Release of 17 Missionaries Taken Hostage in Haiti

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FBI logo - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.10.2021
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WASHINGTON, October 18 (Sputnik) - The FBI is helping the US State Department secure the release of 17 Christian missionaries who were taken hostage in Haiti over the weekend, the Miami Herald reported on Monday.
The FBI is assisting efforts to find and recover 16 Americans and one Canadian, including five children, who were abducted and taken hostage during a trip to an orphanage outside the capital city, Port-au-Prince. FBI agents reportedly arrived in Haiti just hours after the abductions were confirmed.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed later on Monday that the FBI is currently involved in efforts to rescue US missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti over the weekend.

"The President [Joe Biden] has been briefed and is receiving regular updates on what the State Department and the FBI are doing to bring these individuals home safely," Psaki said during a press briefing. "The FBI is part of a coordinated US government effort to get the US citizens involved to safety. Due to operational considerations, we're not going to go into too much detail on that, but can confirm their engagement."

Psaki said the US Embassy in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince has been in contact with the local authorities and is providing assistance to the affected families to resolve the situation.
The US State Department on Sunday said that they are aware of the reports of the kidnapping. The missionaries’ organization, US Christian Aid Ministries, also confirmed in a statement published Sunday that their employees had been abducted.
The missionaries were reportedly kidnapped by the notorious armed gang called 400 Mawozo, who are known for extorting businesses and ransoming kidnapped victims. The New York Times on Sunday said that the whereabouts of the hostages remain unknown.
Then-Prime Minister of Haiti Joseph Jouthe in December 2020 lauded police operations to neutralize members of 400 Mowozo, saying that armed gangs will have "no respite" in Haiti.
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