Haitian PM says was targeted in assassination attempt

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry told AFP in an interview Monday that he was targeted in an assassination attempt during weekend national day celebrations.


"An attempt has been made against me personally. My life has been put in the crosshairs," said Henry, who has been de-facto running the country since the July assassination of president Jovenel Moise.

Clashes between police and armed groups erupted on Saturday during official celebrations in the city of Gonaives, some 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of the capital Port-au-Prince, where Haiti's declaration of independence was signed over 200 years ago.

Photos provided to AFP by Henry's office show a bullet impact mark on the windshield of his armored vehicle.

The events come weeks after groups of citizens and members of armed gangs in Gonaives had violently expressed their opposition to Henry's visiting their city.

"I knew I was taking a risk," Henry told AFP in a telephone interview.

"We cannot let bandits from any background, driven by the lowest financial interests, blackmail the state," he said.

Long plagued by poverty, natural disasters and gang violence, the Caribbean nation has been without a functioning parliament and with a paralyzed judiciary for two years, and Moise's assassination has only exacerbated the crisis.