Haitian PM Ariel Henry says he was target of assassination attempt

'My life has been put in the crosshairs,' country's de facto leader says six months after president was killed

Images released by Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry's office show a bullet impact mark on the windscreen of his armoured vehicle. Reuters
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Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry told AFP in an interview on Monday that he was the target of 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 Mr Henry, who has been 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 kilometres north of the capital Port-au-Prince, where Haiti's declaration of independence was signed more than 200 years ago.

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

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

“I knew I was taking a risk,” Mr Henry told AFP in a telephone interview.

“We cannot let bandits from any background, driven by the lowest financial interests, blackmail the state.”

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

Updated: January 04, 2022, 3:48 AM