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Protests reach Haiti airport and Prime Minister’s residence over police killings

<i>Odelyn Joseph/AP</i><br/>Masked officers force a driver to park his bus to be used as a barricade during a protest to denounce bad police governance
Odelyn Joseph/AP
Masked officers force a driver to park his bus to be used as a barricade during a protest to denounce bad police governance

By Etant Dupain

Protesters and some police officers protested at the official residence of Haiti’s prime minister in the capital Port-au-Prince on Thursday, decrying recent killings of police, according to one of his advisors.

“The police officers and the protestors came here to make their voices heard. They are angry and we understand and hear them,” the advisor told CNN, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the current situation.

Social media images appeared to show protesters outside the prime minister’s residence, and at the country’s main airport, Toussaint Louverture International.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was returning to Haiti from a summit in Argentina on Thursday, was not at his residence during the incident. He has not commented publicly on the demonstrations.

Amid widespread insecurity and gang violence in the country, the killings of several police officers in the line of duty this week has inflamed anger in the capital.

Six police officers were killed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths over the past week to at least 10, according to public statements by the Haitian National Police. The police did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

In an announcement tweeted Thursday by the police, Director General Frantz Elbé declared a state of “maximum alert” in light of the killings.

The international community has condemned the targeting of police in Haiti.

In a tweet, the US Embassy in Haiti wrote that it “offers its condolences to the families and friends of the brave … officers killed in the line of duty and appeals for calm to protect the population and allow a peaceful mourning period.”

“We stand together with the security forces as they fight against the armed gangs to restore the security of the Haitian people,” the Embassy also wrote.

The United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti also tweeted its “energetic condemnation of the targeted and deliberate attacks by armed gangs against police personnel.”

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