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Ohio missionary group announces 3 more abductees freed in Haiti

The religious organization announced that the 400 Mawozo gang had released the first two hostages of a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in mid-October.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A violent gang in Haiti has released three more hostages, according to an update from an Ohio-based religious group.

The statement Monday from Christian Aid Ministries said the people were released on Sunday in Haiti and are “safe and seem to be in good spirits.” The group provided no further details.  

On Nov. 21, the religious organization announced that the 400 Mawozo gang had released the first two hostages of a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in mid-October -- including 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian. At the time of the kidnapping, the group consisted of 12 adults and five children, including an 8-month-old.

Authorities have said the gang was demanding $1 million per person, although it wasn’t immediately clear that included the children in the group. 

The release comes as Haiti struggles with a spike in gang-related violence and kidnappings, with the U.S. government recently urging U.S. citizens to leave Haiti amid deepening insecurity and a severe lack of fuel blamed on gangs blocking gas distribution terminals. 

Haiti also is trying to recover from the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck in mid-August, killing more than 2,200 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes.

"We long for all the hostages to be reunited with their loved ones," Christian Aid ministries said in a statement on its website. "Thank you for your prayer support." 

You can read the full statement here.  

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