Gangsters had been ejected from Cabaret town north of capital Port-au-Prince several days ago but they returned, killing 12 people and burning many houses, says mayor.

Haiti has been mired in an economic, political and public safety crisis for years.
Haiti has been mired in an economic, political and public safety crisis for years. (Reuters Archive)

Gang members in Haiti have killed 12 people and burned down houses in a town near the capital, a local official said.

Police and residents had ejected gangsters from the town of Cabaret north of Port-au-Prince several days ago but they returned and attacked on Tuesday night, said Mayor Joseph Jeanson Guillaume.

"This morning we found several charred bodies," the mayor told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

Powerful and heavily armed gangs that control much of Haiti have been targeting Cabaret for months.

Cabaret sits along a major road, meaning attacks on it disrupt traffic and trade, said the mayor.

READ MORE: Haiti's police academy chief shot dead in gang-plagued neighbourhood

Gang violence

Haiti has been mired in an economic, political and public safety crisis for years.

The assassination of president Jovenel Moise in July 2021 exacerbated the crises, as gangs grew in strength and territorial control.

Police are outnumbered, with the United Nations saying there were 13,000 officers in the force as of September — one for every 1,000 people.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, formally requested international assistance in October to help it regain control but nothing has come of the appeal.

READ MORE: Haiti ends gang blockade at crucial fuel terminal

Source: AFP