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Police in Haiti launch attack to try to retake fuel terminal from gangs

Odelyn Joseph
Haitians in Port-au-Prince protesting gang violence and economic hardship and calling on Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign.

They broke down walls, plowed through barricades and manned the fences to prevent an unsuspecting backdoor attack. Equipped with new tactical training and recently acquired Canadian-made armored vehicles, specialized units of Haiti’s national police force have started to take back control of the country’s main oil terminal and seaports from powerful gangs after two months.

The police operation in Port-au-Prince to restore fuel distribution and access to the ports, where hundreds of containers have been stuck, got underway in earnest Thursday morning, and is expected to continue over the next few days.

There is no guarantee that the gangs, who have been blocking the flow of fuel, water and food since mid-September while demanding the resignation of interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry, will not attempt to retake the terminal. But for now, the police successes are yielding cautious optimism after weeks of despair as the blockade of the port created life-threatening shortages and forced the closures of hospitals and schools.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.