Breaking News: 17 Americans Kidnapped, Being Held Hostage

Breaking News: 17 Americans Kidnapped, Being Held Hostage

BREAKING — Seventeen Americans have been kidnapped and are being held hostage by a notorious gang. U.S. officials are currently working with authorities to ensure the safe return of these hostages.

A group of American missionaries, including 12 adults and five children, have been kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo Gang.

The New York Times reports: “Breaking News: Gang members in Haiti kidnapped as many as 17 American missionaries and their family members as they were leaving an orphanage, Haitian officials said.”

According to reporting from One America News, “The gang is responsible for a number of violent kidnappings and extortion plots throughout the impoverished nation over the last few years, including the kidnapping of five priests and two nuns earlier this year.”

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department has announced that the “welfare and safety” of American citizens abroad is the department’s highest priority.

The White House has provided an update on the federal government’s efforts to rescue the American missionaries. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the FBI is currently in charge of those efforts, and Joe Biden is in the loop, receiving regular updates on the actions being taken.

“The President has been briefed and is receiving regular updates on what the State Department and the FBI are doing to bring these individuals home safely,” Psaki said, noting that she is not able to provide many details at this time due to operational concerns.

The press secretary also revealed that the federal government is in contact with Haitian authorities and the 400 Mawozo gang, trying to negotiate the release of the American missionaries. According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, the gang is asking for a ransom of $1 million each for their release.

After news of the kidnapping broke, many people took to social media to offer prayers and support for the kidnapped Americans.

“Please join me in praying for the protection and safe return of the U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti,” tweeted Senator Marsha Blackburn.

“Pray for the protection and safe release of the 17 American missionaries and family members who were kidnapped in Haiti yesterday. This includes both adults and children who were traveling from visiting an orphanage,” wrote Franklin Graham.

“My heart and prayers are with the 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti. Praying for their protection and safe return,” tweeted Senator Tim Scott.

UPDATE: The missionary group that was kidnapped was made up of 16 Americans and one Canadian.

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