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Haiti police retake control of police station in capital that was attacked by gangs

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Officers regained control of a police station in Haiti’s capital that had been the target of armed gangs in recent months, authorities said Monday.

The station in Gressier, located in the western tip of Port-au-Prince, was most recently attacked on Sunday in an assault that killed an unknown number of civilians, Lionel Lazarre, spokesperson of a police union said. The armed groups burned houses in the area, causing panic within the community, he said.

One bus driver was attacked and then shot by gunmen while he was working, Lazarre added.

The attack comes days after hundreds of Kenyan police officers arrived in Haiti to help release the country from the tight hold of armed criminal gangs.

Videos posted on social media showed armed men storming the police station as they railed against Haiti’s government and the Kenyan police officers. They also showed a fire blazing in front of the station, which gunmen mostly destroyed.

A similar attack in Gressier took place in May when civilians and police officers were calling for the dismissal and arrest of the police chief as heavily armed gangs seized control of the same police station. The attack caused widespread panic and left people homeless as gangs rampaged through the community.

Gangs have raided more than two dozen police stations in Port-au-Prince and assaulted since late February when they launched coordinated attacks targeting critical state infrastructure.

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