Dozens killed in Haiti in 2 weeks of gun battles, thousands flee homes

Gun battles between rival gangs in Port-au-Prince have killed dozens in the past two weeks and forced thousands to flee their homes, Haiti’s civil protection authority and a U.N. agency said.

The Chen Mechan and 400 Mawozo gangs, the latter of which kidnapped a group of U.S. and Canadian missionaries last year, have been waging turf wars since April 24, killing at least 39 people and creating havoc in and around the capital.

“At least 23 houses were burned down, and 48 schools, five medical centers and eight markets had to close,” the authority and the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report sent to Reuters on Thursday.

It describes the situation up until Wednesday afternoon.

The clashes have also wounded 68 and have crippled operations of the country’s largest fuel terminal, leading to fuel shortages, with the gangs hijacking 10 tanker trucks.

About 9,000 people have had to move to other homes, the report added.

Gangs have steadily boosted their power since the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

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