Up to 17 American U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti after leaving orphanage

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.
Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were taking a bus to the airport when the gang kidnapped them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials told NYT.
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A security officer told the AFP news agency that the "armed gang" who kidnapped the group of "between 15 and 17" Americans had been "involved in thefts and kidnappings" for months.
A State Department spokesman said in an email that he was aware of the reports. The spokesman added that they had nothing to add immediately, but said that "the welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is a top priority" for the department.
The big picture: Haiti has been gripped by violence since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July.
The Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights in Port-au-Prince reported an increase in abductions in Haiti from 73 in August to 117 in September, according to the Washington Post. "
Editor's note: This is a breaking news item. Please check again for updates.
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