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Vigilantes set gang members on FIRE & cut victims’ hands off in ‘world’s most dangerous city’ as bodies pile up in Haiti

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HAITI is on the brink of collapse as armed gangs lay siege to the capital – but a grisly group of vengeful locals are fighting back.

Port-au-Prince, a city dubbed the “most dangerous on earth”, has just become even deadlier as vigilantes hunt down gangsters – burning victim’s alive and cutting off their hands.

Port-au-Prince residents watch as a body of a suspected gang member burns after vigilantes attacked

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Port-au-Prince residents watch as a body of a suspected gang member burns after vigilantes attackedCredit: Reuters
Several 'gangsters' were killed, dismembered, dragged through the streets and set on fire by citizens in Petion-Ville on Wednesday

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Several ‘gangsters’ were killed, dismembered, dragged through the streets and set on fire by citizens in Petion-Ville on WednesdayCredit: AFP
The Haitian vigilante justice movement, Bwa Kale, appears to be experiencing a resurgence

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The Haitian vigilante justice movement, Bwa Kale, appears to be experiencing a resurgenceCredit: Reuters
A man runs past the burning belongings and motorbike of murdered gang leader Makandal

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A man runs past the burning belongings and motorbike of murdered gang leader MakandalCredit: Reuters

Bodies are piling up on the streets of Haiti’s capital which is engulfed in an all-out civil war between warring gangs, a weak police force and citizen-led death squads.

Thousands have been killed this month amid widespread reports of murder, rape, arson and kidnappings as the over 200 merciless gangs who rule the capital sparked a new dawn of violence.

But as the Caribbean nation reels under a state of emergency – a machete-wielding civilian army is now out on the lawless streets.

Yesterday, suspected gang members were killed in an attack yesterday in the upscale neighbourhood Petion-Ville in the eastern suburbs of Port-au-Prince.

The district, once considered a safe-zone in the violence-ridden city and filled with embassies, has been dragged into the carnage with gun battles raging through the streets.

A Reuters reporter saw two suspected gang members including a leader known as Makandal being killed on Wednesday.

Grim footage showed their bodies being dragged on the street, one man with his hands cut off before they were set on fire.

Makandal’s family home was also set on fire, while his belongings and motorbike were burned in the street.

Police and locals reported the deadly clash as evidence of a resurgence of vigilante justice while law and order remains almost absent in the capital.

Almost a year ago, a group of residents lynched and set fire to 13 suspected gang members – launching what became known as the Bwa Kale movement.

World’s most dangerous city descends into war as thousands flee prison

The vigilante justice movement has fallen somewhere between a citizen-led uprising and a murderous campaign that aid agencies have accused of sparking further violence and chaos.

Rights groups have argued Bwa Kale’s attacks have sometimes been carried out with members of Haiti’s national police.

Earlier on Wednesday, 15 people were killed in attacks around Petion-Ville.

Terrified residents there barricaded themselves inside their homes while armed men carried out fresh attacks.

Haiti has descended into complete anarchy as violence escalates to unprecedented levels in the now lawless state

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Haiti has descended into complete anarchy as violence escalates to unprecedented levels in the now lawless stateCredit: AFP
Thousands have been killed, raped and kidnapped

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Thousands have been killed, raped and kidnappedCredit: Reuters
A makeshift barricade made of kitchen appliances and clothes

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A makeshift barricade made of kitchen appliances and clothesCredit: Reuters

Local resident Samuel Orelus said: “When I woke up to go to work, I found I could not leave because the neighborhood was in the hand of the bandits.

“They were about 30 men with heavy weapons. If the neighborhood had mobilized, we could have destroyed them, but they were heavily armed, and there was nothing we could do.”

Notorious gang boss, Jimmy Cherizier, aka “Barbecue”, the head of the capital’s most fearsome gang coalition, G9, has also been threatening the neighbourhood.

The fired cop-turned-warlord, 47, is rumoured to have earned his nickname for setting his victims on fire and has led a long reign of terror over the poorest areas of the city.

This week, he furiously stated he would storm the hotels in Petion-Ville – where international aid workers are believed to be sheltering – after accusing hotel owners of hiding old-guard politicians.

The latest outburst of violence comes as the political future of the crisis-racked Caribbean island nation hangs in limbo.

Lawless state

For over two years, warring factions have been tearing Port-au-Prince apart and turned every day into a fight for survival.

But Haiti has been rocked by a surge of unrest since February when armed groups raided a prison, releasing over 5,000 inmates, and demanded Prime Minister Ariel Henry resign.

After weeks of anarchy, the de facto PM said he would step down last week – a demand of the increasingly powerful gangs that control almost 90 per cent Port-au-Prince.

However, the unprecedented violence has continued as Henry remains stranded outside the country.

Outmanned and outgunned by gangs, Haiti’s police, barely 9,000 in strength, are unable to quell the chaos.

The US estimates roughly 1000 of its citizens are trapped in the Caribbean country as its military scrambles to evacuate them.

The capital’s port and airport are still being blockaded by gangs, while police stations, public buildings and other state facilities have been attacked.

The violence has exacerbated an already grim humanitarian situation, with warnings of famine, malnutrition and the collapse of basic services.

More than 1.5million Haitians are at risk of famine and 360,000 Haitians – half of them being children – have been displaced, according to aid agencies.

Philippe Branchat, chief of the International Organization for Migration, said in a statement: “People living in the capital are locked in, they have nowhere to go.

“The capital is surrounded by armed groups and danger. It is a city under siege.”

Jimmy 'Barbecue' Chérizier leads Haiti's capital's most dangerous coalitions of gangs

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Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier leads Haiti’s capital’s most dangerous coalitions of gangs
Haiti's weak police forces is unable to quell the chaos

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Haiti’s weak police forces is unable to quell the chaosCredit: EPA
A man looks at a charred body inside a makeshift coffin

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A man looks at a charred body inside a makeshift coffinCredit: EPA
Over 360,000 Haitians are believed to have been displaced by the spiralling violence

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Over 360,000 Haitians are believed to have been displaced by the spiralling violenceCredit: EPA

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