Gunfights between rival gangs have killed more than 50 people since Friday near Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, a local mayor said on Monday, amid a continuing escalation of violence gripping the Caribbean nation.
Gang shootings in the impoverished suburb of Cite Soleil have also left more than 100 people injured, according to Cite Soleil Mayor Joel Janeus, adding that 50 of them are in critical condition.
“The people who were crouching during the shooting, the bullets went through their roofs and killed them,” Janeus said in a telephone interview. “People who try to flee the (area), are hit by bullets.”
Gangs have also blocked access to the Varreux fuel terminal, the Haitian daily Le Nouvelliste reported.
West Indies Group, a Haitian conglomerate that owns the Varreux terminal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The violence appears to be the result of a clash between the G9 and the GPEP gangs.
Gang violence has skyrocketed since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated a year ago in a night raid, creating a political vacuum and prompting criminal groups to expand their control over the country’s territory.
Human rights activists said in May that clashes between rival Chen Mechan and 400 Mawozo gangs had left 148 dead, some of whom were hacked to death with machetes or died when their homes were set on fire.
Haiti marked the anniversary of Moise’s murder on Thursday, as the country’s judicial authorities have yet to charge anyone for the brazen murder.
Kidnappings have increased since then and much of the country is now ruled by gangs.