As many as 17 U.S. Christian missionaries and their family members — including children — were kidnapped by gang members in Haiti while they were leaving an orphanage, Haitian security officials told The New York Times.
Local officials said the missionaries were taken from a bus on its way to the airport to drop some members off in the island nation’s capital Port-au-Prince before going to another location in Haiti, the paper reported.
A US State Department spokesperson confirmed to The Post that it is aware of the report.
“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said.
“We are aware of these reports and have nothing additional to offer at this time.”
While kidnappings are alarmingly common in the politically-torn nation, officials were shocked at the bold abduction of such a large number of people, The Times reported.
The country has been in a state of political turmoil since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by gunmen in his home in July, a case that has yet to be solved by local law enforcement.
Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon whom Moïse had appointed prime minister two days before he was gunned down, took control of the country in the power struggle that followed.
Just weeks later, Haitians suffered a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake in August that killed hundreds of people and leveled buildings.