Haitian PM scrambles to safety as gunmen attempt to kill him

Haitian PM scrambles to safety as gunmen attempt to kill him in video footage of failed murder attempt at a church, five months after president was assassinated

  • Ariel Henry was targeted after a ceremony celebrating Haiti’s independence
  • One person was killed in the gunfire but Henry escaped unharmed in the attack
  • President Jovenel Moise was killed in July in a predawn raid at his home

The Haitian prime minister was forced to scramble to safety to avoid a string of gunfire during an assassination attempt on Saturday, video footage shows.

Ariel Henry was leaving a church after taking part in an event commemorating the Caribbean country’s independence when a gang of ‘bandits and terrorists’ tried to gun him down.

The failed shooting comes just five months after Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in a predawn attack at his home.

The Haitian prime minister was forced to scramble to safety to avoid a string of gunfire during an assassination attempt on Saturday, video footage shows

Ariel Henry was leaving a church after taking part in an event commemorating the Caribbean country’s independence when gunfire erupted

Haitian media pointed to possible gang involvement in the latest shooting, which they said killed one person and injured two more.

Henry’s office said he was targeted after the ceremony marking the 218th anniversary of the country’s independence by an armed group in Gonavies. 

Video footage broadcast on social media showed Henry and his entourage scrambling toward their vehicles.

Gangs’ hold on parts of Haiti has strengthened since the assassination of Moise in July.

Video footage broadcast on social media showed Henry and his entourage scrambling toward their vehicles

Henry’s office said he was targeted after the ceremony marking the 218th anniversary of the country’s independence by an armed group in Gonavies

Police, who called Saturday’s attack the work of ‘armed groups,’ were unable to immediately confirm casualties. 

Prior to the incident, a local gang boss had made threats against Henry in local media.

The prime minister’s office said arrest warrants had been issued for the suspects who fired on Henry’s convoy.

The attack has renewed concerns about the safety of officials in Haiti since Moise’s assassination.

Henry, whose administration is facing mounting challenges to its legitimacy, was sworn in as prime minister barely two weeks after Moise’s killing at the hands of suspected mercenaries. His wife was also hospitalised after the attack.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise, pictured, was assassinated at his official residence in Port-au-Prince on July 7

 Members of the military are seen near the hospital where Haitian First Lady Martine Moise was held after the attack

Security forces inspect at the site after an attack at the residence of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on July 7

The country has yet to set a date to elect Moise’s successor.

Moise was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince on July 7 after a team of mercenaries stormed the leader’s residence without encountering his team of bodyguards. 

Immediately, authorities suspected an inside job as none of the slain president’s security team were injured or killed by the assassination squad.

Haitian police arrested Moise’s chief bodyguard and three other members of the team. 

The attack was allegedly carried out by a group that included 26 Colombian former soldiers, at least six of whom had previously received U.S. military training. 

Haitian-Americans were also among the accused.


Footage circulating online purportedly taken by a neighbour of the president shows men with rifles arriving outside the property

Martine Moïse was treated in hospital following the July 7 assassination of her husband

The attack’s plotters disguised the mercenaries as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, a ruse that helped them enter Moise’s home with no resistance from his security detail, authorities have said.  

Yesterday, Panama authorities arrested a former member of the Colombian military wanted for questioning in connection with the assassination. 

Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, was detained during a stopover of a flight on which he was being deported from Jamaica to Colombia, the sources said. 

Palacios was detained during a stopover in Panama and asked to ‘voluntarily’ board a flight to the United States, a Colombian immigration source said.

In case he resisted, Panamanian officials said they would enforce an Interpol red notice issued by the United States, which is in addition to one that Haiti had already issued, the source said.

Haiti has also issued an Interpol red notice for Palacios.

It was not clear if he had gone to the United States.

Panama authorities have issued no public comment on the affair but a person familiar with the matter in Panama confirmed that Palacios had been detained. 

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