haiti prison break
© APA demonstrator holds up a Haitian flag during protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, March 1, 2024. At least 10 people have been caught dead in crossfire following a mass escape from Haiti's largest prison.
On Monday, Haiti declared a national 72-hour state of emergency and imposed a curfew following a massive prison break from its largest prison, located in its capital, Port-au-Prince, which resulted in the deaths of over 10 people.

During the escape, three inmates were shot dead. Many others opted to remain in their cells fearing getting killed by prison guards, police, or in the crossfire, Sky News reported.

The consequential death toll is expected to rise, Spanish news agency EFE stated, however, the Haitian government has not given official updates regarding the situation. Haitian media reported that the government, nonetheless, tasked police with legally enforcing the curfew.

So far, it has been reported that around 4,000 inmates were able to escape.

Haiti gang leader vows to oust prime minister

On Saturday night, armed gangs, led by Jimmy Cherizier, also known as Barbecue, stormed Port-au-Prince's prison, defying security, and freeing prisoners in continued efforts to oust Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

In a press conference on Friday, Cherizier declared that the battle against Henry would persist for as long as necessary, urging families to keep their children at home to "avoid collateral damages."

The capital city of Port-au-Prince has been under siege since Thursday, with coordinated violent attacks by gang members claiming the lives of at least four police officers and leaving dozens injured. The situation escalated on Friday with heavy gunfire, forcing around 200,000 innocent people to flee their homes amidst burning vehicles and disrupted civic systems.

Cherizier, the leader of the gang federation G9 and Family and Allies, claimed responsibility for the attacks that have plunged the city into chaos. The organized havoc is part of a broader effort by various gangs united under the banner of "Vivre Ensemble" (living together).