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Missionary group says 17 kidnapped in Haiti

Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said on Sunday that 17 of its missionaries, including children, have been kidnapped in Haiti.

In a statement, the group said five men, seven women and five children were abducted during a trip to visit an orphanage on Saturday. Sixteen are Americans and one is a Canadian citizen.

The Millersburg, Ohio, headquarters for Christian Aid Ministries on Sunday appeared to be closed.

Multiple news outlets said the group was kidnapped by armed gang members in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Gang violence has surged in the Caribbean nation following the assassination of its president in July and an earthquake in August that killed over 2,000 people, crises that have displaced thousands and hampered economic activity in the poorest country in the Americas.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson told Reuters it was aware of the reports but did not offer details.

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