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The remaining Catholic clergy who were kidnapped in Haiti earlier in April, including a French priest and nun, have been released, a missionary group said Friday.

The Society of Priests of Saint Jacques said the clergy were freed but did not say if a ransom had been paid.

In a statement released Friday, the Society of Priests of Saint Jacques said the hostages were in good health.

The missionary group thanked “the French and American ambassadors for their discreet and effective diplomatic contribution” and “all the political and moral authorities of the country for their unfailing support”.

Five priests and two nuns were abducted on April 11 in Croix-des-Bouquets, a commune northeast of Haiti‘s capital, Port-au-Prince. The kidnappers had demanded a $1 million ransom for the group, which included one French priest and one French nun, according to a local priest.

Three of the seven kidnapped clergy members were released last week. But there was no information of whether a ransom had been paid. The French nationals were not among the first group of released hostages, according to Father Loudger Mazile, spokesman for the Bishop’s Conference for the island nation.

Kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months in Port-au-Prince and other provinces, reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation.

Haiti’s government resigned earlier this month and a new prime minister was appointed in the wake of the clergy kidnappings, a move President Jovenel Moise said “will make it possible to address the glaring problem of insecurity and continue discussions with a view to reaching the consensus necessary for the political and institutional stability of our country.”

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)



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