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Haitian gang releases 3 kidnapped missionaries

Haitian gang releases 3 kidnapped missionaries
Image of a street in the Martissant neighborhood controlled by armed gangs, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on August 24. A missionary group said three kidnapped hostages were released late Sunday. File Photo by Orlando Barria/EPA-EFE

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Three missionaries kidnapped in Haiti were released Sunday night by a violent street gang, the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries announced Monday.

The missionaries were part of 17 who were kidnapped by the gang in October. Kidnappers had demanded a ransom of $1 million for each hostage.

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"We are thankful to God that three more hostages were released last night," Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement. "Those who were released are safe and seem to be in good spirits. As with the previous release, we are not able to provide the names of the people released, the circumstances of the release, or any other details."

The 400 Mawozo gang, one of the most powerful in Haiti, kidnapped the missionaries outside of the capital Port-au-Prince on Oct. 16. The hostages included 16 from the United States and one from Canada.

Christian Aid Ministries said it will be praying and fasting for the remaining hostages.

"Please continue to intercede for those who are still being held as well as those who have been released," the statement said. "We long for all the hostages to be reunited with their loved ones. Thank you for your prayer support."

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On Nov. 22, the missionary organization said two hostages were released by the gang.

The Caribbean island nation has been beset by a wave of terror caused by armed gangs that control sections of Port-au-Prince. Gangs blocked the distribution of fuel in October, sparking a strike around the country.

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