- The remaining U.S. missionary group kidnapped in Haiti two months ago has been released, according to Haitian police and the church group.
- Two of them were from Hart, according to members of the Hart congregation who spoke to local media in Michigan.
According to Haitian police and the church group, the remaining U.S. missionary group kidnapped in Haiti two months ago have been released.
Gary Desrosiers, a spokesman for Haiti’s National Police, confirmed the release of the hostages to The Associated Press but did not provide further details.
“We praise God for His faithfulness – the remaining 12 hostages have been set free!” In a statement, Christian Aid Ministries said. “Our all loved ones are now safe,” says the family.
The Ohio-based organization stated that it plans to provide more details later.
The missionaries were transported to the Port-au-Prince airport by a convoy of at least a dozen vehicles, including U.S. Embassy SUVs and Haitian National Police, late Thursday afternoon from the missionary group’s offices in Titanyen, north of the capital.
Earlier, people on the Christian Aid Ministries campus were seen hugging and smiling.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, praised the law enforcement efforts and Haitian officials who assisted in releasing the hostages. “We were relieved to learn that they are safe and receiving the care they require following their ordeal,” she said.
On Oct. 16, the missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang. There were five children in the group of 16 Americans and one Canadian, including an 8-month-old baby. As per the local human rights organization, their Haitian driver was also kidnapped.
The gang’s leader threatened to kill the hostages unless his demands were met. Authorities say 400 Mawozo is demanding $1 million per person, but it’s unclear whether this includes the children.
It was unclear whether a ransom was paid or efforts to free the hostages.
Hart Dunkard Brethren Church in Hart member, Michigan, Carleton Horst, stated church members received a text message Thursday morning from “someone connected to the situation” informing them that all hostages had been released.
Among the hostages were a mother and her five children, two of whom were adults and members of the church. Horst, who knows the family, said the church is ecstatic and that he’s “elated that that portion of things is finally over, just praise the Lord for that.”
Minister at the church, The Rev. Ron Marks, stated “, “We’re feeling great.”
Marks later said in a Zoom news conference, “From what I gathered, they were treated relatively well.”
Two hostages were freed in November, and three more were released earlier this month. Two of them were from Hart, according to members of the Hart congregation who spoke to local media in Michigan.
According to the missionary group, the hostages are from Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Ontario, Canada, and Michigan.
Congressman, whose western Michigan congressional district includes Hart, Bill Huizenga said, “Today is the day we have been hoping for, praying for, and working so hard to achieve.”
“I’d like to express my gratitude to the members of the hostage negotiation team for their efforts in securing the safe release of all the hostages. “This is a wonderful day for families in Michigan and across the country who have been concerned about their loved ones’ safety,” Huizenga said.
Source: CP24 News
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