Armed raiders attack prison, free inmates in Haiti

CROIX-DES-BOUQUETS, Haiti - Gunmen attacked Haiti's main prison from within and without on Sunday, freeing an undetermined number of inmates, including a member of a prominent family who faces kidnapping charges, officials said.

Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers told reporters the raid apparently was aimed at freeing Clifford Brandt, a businessman who has been imprisoned since 2012 on charges of kidnapping at least two children.

Desrosiers said at least two guards suffered bullet wounds in the attack, which occurred shortly before noon at the Croix-des-Bouquets prison.

Following a meeting with security officials and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, Desrosiers said the government was offering a reward of about $25,000 for information leading to the recapture of Brandt, whose family has extensive holdings in export-import businesses.

He said officials were not sure how many of the 899 inmates escaped from the prison northeast of the capital, but he said 10 had been recaptured.

The prison was built in 2012 with Canadian financial aid to replace a prison devastated by the country's 2010 earthquake.

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