A poverty-stricken neighborhood in Haiti's capital is reeling from a deadly ambush that killed at least 21 citizens.
The Independent writes that an army of gentlemen posing as police officers entered a destitute precinct of Port-au-Prince hauling machetes and firearms. The assailants marched into several homes in the La Saline neighborhood, took residents hostage and led them to a back street before assassinating them either by gunfire or machete jabs.
A 55-year-old resident who fled from the violence told The Associated Press she thought their long-awaited nightmare was over, and authorities were arriving to mediate conflicts between gang members and the neighborhood's inhabitants.
"When I saw them I thought they were providing security but then I realized they were shooting at the population," Marie-Lourdes Corestan recalled. "They were shooting, and I was running to save my life."
Following the invasion, individuals from human rights nonprofit Witnesses were on site to help tally the deceased. At least 21 people lost their lives in the attack, and Corestan's 24-year-old son was one of the 21 victims of the senseless bloodshed.
What's even more devastating about the attack is there are two police stations within miles of the La Saline neighborhood. On that deadly afternoon, neither of the stations bothered to dispatch authorities, leading many to believe they conspired with the criminals to orchestrate the brutality. A police chief later spoke with The Associated Press and said when deputies finally arrived at the crime scene, it was too dark to take further action. Since the attack, one person has been taken into custody.
Representatives of the United Nations say the probe into the attack is ongoing and expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
Blavity reported two months ago that at least six people lost their lives when an anti-government protest following celebrations commemorating the 215th anniversary of Haiti's victory against France turned deadly.
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