The leader of the Haitian gang suspected of kidnapping 17 members of a missionary group from the United States has threatened to kill the hostages if his demands are not met.

Iran PressAmerica: Wilson Joseph, leader of the 400 Mawozo gang, issued the ultimatum in a video posted on social media on Thursday. 

"If I don't find what I need, these Americans, I'd rather kill them all, and I'll unload a big gun in the head of each of them," said the man in the video.

The hostages were abducted after leaving an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince on October 16. Sixteen of the abductees are Americans and one is Canadian. Five of them are children, including an eight-month-old infant.

According to Al Jazeera, protests in the capital Port-au-Prince against the deteriorating security situation in Haiti continued for the fifth day on Thursday.

At least 328 kidnapping victims were reported to Haiti’s national police in the first eight months of 2021, compared with a total of 234 for all of 2020, according to a report issued last month by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti known as BINUH.

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Up to 17 US missionaries, family members kidnapped in Haiti