CROIX-DES-BOUQUETS — Heavily armed gangs operating in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets had cut off the town from Port-au-Prince and other neighboring towns for six days with erected barricades according to residents’ testimonies on different local media.
On Feb. 3, witnesses said that armed individuals seized a truck and beat the driver to force him to put the vehicle across the national road #8, between the areas of Cotard and Michaud, located to the east of the town of Croix-des-Bouquets. Since that day, the road leading on one way to Port-au-prince and on the other to the Dominican Republic has been blocked.
High-caliber weapon fire has been intensified since the very early morning of Feb.7 in Cotard and Michaud and other areas. Gunfire can be heard daily for the past two weeks.
Croix-des-Bouquets residents who were interviewed on several local stations said different communes are totally paralyzed. Residents stayed inside and no cars were seen on the roads. The armed men thoroughly search the passengers of the rare motorcycles that manage to make their way alongside the truck erected in the street.
According to witnesses, several families had deserted their houses. Armed gangs have broke into the houses of residents who deserted to steal. They set fires in some houses.. The families who stayed behind cannot leave their homes because of the daily gunfire.
Local media also reported that at least one person was executed over the weekend.
On Feb. 2, the Haitian National Police had announced that they had carried out several operations aimed at weakening the gangs in the downtown area of Croix-des-Bouquets. Some bandits were arrested and others killed, PNH had said in its twitter account.