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Haiti declares state of emergency after double jailbreak allows thousands of inmates to escape

Haiti proclaimed a state of emergency when a violent outbreak assisted thousands of prisoners in escaping after coordinated attacks on the country's two largest prisons.
The chaos included a breach of a night-time curfew by gangs during a violent weekend in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

During this upheaval, a former police officer, who now leads a gang coalition, orchestrated a series of attacks, aiming to capture official figures and block the return of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is currently abroad seeking support for a UN-backed security initiative.

The emergency measures were enforced after nearly all 4,000 inmates from the National Penitentiary and another local prison holding around 1,400 prisoners escaped. Violence engulfed various areas, leaving several dead and institutions such as the international airport and even a soccer stadium under threat.

Haiti is grappling with a powered gang federation and a deeply understaffed National Police force that struggles against extensive criminal control. This latest outbreak heightens the nation's ongoing turmoil and insecurity following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.

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