Haitian police blocked roads and entered the country’s main airport on Thursday to protest the recent killing of a police officer by armed groups that have extended control over the Caribbean country.

Protesters disguised as police officers first attacked Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s official residence and flooded the airport when Henry arrived from a trip from Argentina.

Henry was briefly stranded at the airport before returning to his home in Port-au-Prince late Thursday, followed by police protesters, and witnesses to Reuters heard heavy gunfire near his home. .

Haiti’s National Police and Prime Minister’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Roads around Port-au-Prince and in some northern cities have been blocked by protesters.

A group of senior U.S. government officials were visiting Haiti at the time, and a U.S. State Department spokesman said all Washington officials had been briefed and had postponed several meetings as a precautionary measure.

In a statement, the Haitian human rights group RNDDH said 78 police officers had been killed since Henry took power in July 2021, an average rate of five per month. As National Police Chief Franz Elbe put it, “Each is responsible. Seventy-eight lives were lost.”

Late on Thursday, The Bahamas’ overseas ministry stated the US high minister had ordered all Bahamians, such as its diplomatic personnel, to leave Haiti as quickly as safety situations permit.

Last week, 4 law enforcement officials close to the capital had been killed through the Vitelhomme gang, at the same time as shootouts on Wednesday with the Savien gang withinside the city of Liancourt left any other seven officials dead, consistent with Haiti’s National Police and nearby media reports.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols expressed condolences to the households of law enforcement officials killed withinside the state-of-the-art violence, and stated the US might preserve to “impose charges on the ones liable for this heinous violence.”

Asked how the trends should have an effect on efforts to craft an worldwide armed intervention, the U.S. State Department spokesperson advised Reuters the US changed into nonetheless running with worldwide companions to develop “a framework” for a safety task to “offer safety and stability.”

The United Nations is discussing sending an overseas strike pressure to confront the crook groups. The concept changed into at the beginning made 3 months in the past however no use of a has been provided to steer this kind of pressure.

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