Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was forced to flee the northern city of Gonaïves, where he and other government officials were attending a New Year’s Day Mass to mark the country’s independence from France, after a shootout that left one person dead and that his office cast as an attempt on his life.
“An attempt has been made against me personally. My life has been put in the crosshairs,” said Henry, who has been de-facto 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 kilometers (90 miles) north of the capital Port-au-Prince, where Haiti’s declaration of independence was signed over 200 years ago.
Video footage broadcast on social media showed Mr. Henry and his entourage scrambling toward their vehicles as an armed group began shooting outside the cathedral in Gonaïves.
The police, who called Saturday’s attack the work of “armed groups,” were unable to immediately confirm casualties.
However, Haitian media said the shooting killed one person and injured two more.