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A dire situation is unfolding in Haiti after a group of missionaries was kidnapped over the weekend by a local gang who is now demanding millions of dollars in ransom. The Christian aid group that the gang kidnapped is comprised of 16 Americans and one Canadian, including five children, according to still developing reports.

On Tuesday (October 19), Haiti justice minister Liszt Quitel shared the news that the gang, known as “400 Mawozo,” is demanding $1 million for each of the kidnapping victims for a total of $17 million. The group, which is part of Christian Aid Ministries, fell victim to the gang’s plot in a suburb just outside of Port-au-Prince.

According to a report from CNN, the group is comprised of seven women, five men, and aforementioned five children. With Quitel recently assuming his role, the country of Haiti has been besieged by violence at the hands of gangs, most especially in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. On Monday, a bus carrying students was riddled with bullets and there have been other kidnappings reported as well.

Haitian police and the FBI are working in tandem to help guide Christian Aid Ministries during the negotiations, although it isn’t known how far talks have progressed. FBI agents are reportedly in the country but are not in the forefront in regards to talks being held.

CNN also obtained information from Quitel highlighting that the hostages are being held in Croix-des-Bouquets but that they have not been harmed and are safe. It is assumed that the kidnappers will not achieve their lofty goals and will instead settle for a potential countering offer.

Photo: Getty

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