U.S. Church Group: 2 Of 17 Missionary Abductees Freed In Haiti

The abducted members who were taken hostage in October are "in good spirits and being cared for," Christian Aid Ministries announced Sunday.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Two of 17 abducted members of a missionary group have been freed in Haiti and are safe, “in good spirits and being cared for,” their Ohio-based church organization announced Sunday.

Christian Aid Ministries issued a statement saying it could not give the names of those released, why they were freed or other information.

“While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the 15 people who are still being held,” the group said.

A sign is seen outside the Christian Aid Ministries in Titanyen, Haiti, on October 22, after 17 members of the missionary group were taken hostage by a Haitian gang.
A sign is seen outside the Christian Aid Ministries in Titanyen, Haiti, on October 22, after 17 members of the missionary group were taken hostage by a Haitian gang.
RICARDO ARDUENGO via Getty Images

The missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct. 16. There are five children in the group of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian. Their Haitian driver also was abducted.

The leader of 400 Mawozo gang has threatened to kill the hostages unless the gang’s demands are met. Authorities have said the gang was demanding $1 million per person, although it wasn’t immediately clear that included the children in the group.

The U.S. government has urged U.S. citizens to leave Haiti because of the country’s deepening insecurity and the severe lack of fuel. Canada announced Friday it was pulling all but essential personnel from its embassy.