Haiti: Kidnapped missionaries released after months in captivity
By James Blears
Sixteen missionaries, including five children, were kidnapped at gunpoint by the 400 Mawozo gang on 16 October, on a main road in the town of Ganthier, east of the Haitian capital Port Au Prince.
The gang demanded one million dollars ransom per person and threatened the lives of the missionaries, who were returning from a visit to an orphanage they're funding.
Two were released in November, as one had fallen sick. Three more were freed last week.
In a statement, the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries says: "Join us in praising God, that all seventeen of our loved ones are now safe. Thank you for your fervent prayers during the past two months."
The twelve hostages released on Thursday were brought to safety by a Haitian Police patrol. The fate of their Haitian bus driver is not known.
A US State Department and FBI Taskforce has been in Haiti helping local authorities in securing their release. It has not been confirmed if the kidnappers' monetary demands were met.
The already-volatile situation in Haiti descended into crisis after the assassination of President Jovenal Moise in July. Then, in August, a 7.2 earthquake hit the southwest of the country, and in September this kidnapping, which has thankfully now been resolved.