US nurse, child safely released in Haiti two weeks after kidnapping
PHOTO CAPTION: Representational photo — Police patrol the streets after gang members tried to attack a police station, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol
(Reuters) - A U.S. nurse and her child have been safely released after their kidnapping in Haiti two weeks ago, a faith-based humanitarian aid organization where the nurse works said on Wednesday.
"We are so thankful for everyone who joined us in prayer and supported us during this crisis," humanitarian aid organization El Roi Haiti said in a statement.
The nurse, Alix Dorsainvil, and her child were kidnapped from El Roi Haiti's campus near Port au Prince on July 27.
Gang violence in Haiti has sent kidnappings surging, with nearly 300 cases confirmed in the first six months of 2023, almost as many as were documented for the entire previous year, the U.N. Children's Agency, UNICEF, said on Monday.
In most cases, children and women are forcefully taken by armed groups and used for financial or tactical gain, UNICEF said.
The U.S. State Department welcomed reports of their release but declined to comment further due to privacy concerns, a spokesperson said.
"We express our deepest appreciation to our Haitian, and U.S. interagency partners for their assistance in facilitating their safe release," they said.
(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa and Simon Lewis in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker)