PORT-AU-PRINCE — Gunmen unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti during an event on Saturday commemorating the Caribbean country’s independence, his office said in a statement on Monday night.
“Bandits and terrorists,” the statement said, had tried to shoot the prime minister at a church in the northern city of Gonaïves where the ceremony marking the 218th anniversary of independence was taking place.
Video footage broadcast on social media showed Mr. Henry and his entourage scrambling toward their vehicles as an armed group began shooting outside the cathedral in Gonaïves.
The police, who called Saturday’s attack the work of “armed groups,” were unable to immediately confirm casualties. Haitian media said the shooting killed one person and injured two more.
Before the incident, a local gang boss had made threats against Mr. Henry in local media. Criminal gangs’ hold on parts of Haiti has strengthened since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July.
The reported assassination attempt over the weekend has renewed concerns about the safety of officials in Haiti since Mr. Moïse’s assassination.
Mr. Henry, whose administration is facing mounting challenges to its legitimacy, was sworn in as prime minister barely two weeks after Mr. Moïse’s killing at the hands of suspected mercenaries. The country has yet to set a date to elect Mr. Moise’s successor.