Haiti PM survives assassination attempt months after president is murdered

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was targeted by “bandits and terrorists” who opened fire at a church he was in during an event celebrating the country’s independence.

The apparent assassination attempt comes just months after the successful assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July, plunging the country's security situation into turmoil.

Henry was sworn in as prime minister less than two weeks after the incident as acting head of state. No date has been announced for a vote to elect a new president.

The apparent attempted slaying of Henry took place in the northern city of Gonaives, his office said in a Monday statement.

Video posted online showed the prime minister and his entourage fleeing towards their vehicles under heavy gunfire.

One person was killed and two people were injured in the mayhem, reports in Haiti said.

A local gang boss made threats to the prime minister through media reports in the lead up to the independence event. Arrest warrants have been issued for the suspected shooters, Henry’s office said.

Henry had previously vowed to crack down on powerful gangs that are blamed for seizing control of much of the gas distribution around the country, causing severe fuel shortages.

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In September last year, Haiti's head prosecutor invited Henry to explain his connection to the main suspect in the July killing of the President Jovenel Moise.

Prosecutor Bedford Claude said that Mr Henry had multiple phone calls with suspect Joseph Felix Badio just hours after the assassination.

Mr Claude said Mr Henry was being "invited" to attend, as he did not have the authority to officially summon him.

Records obtained from phone operator Digicel confirmed that Mr Badio and Mr Henry spoke twice just hours after President Moise's killing, Mr Claude added.

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