Haiti abductions: US missionaries released after being kidnapped

Two American missionaries have been released after being abducted in Haiti, media reports and officials said.

No details on the circumstances surrounding the release of Ruth Mickelson and Tracy Schlichting were available, although state department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters the two had left Haiti “on their own”.

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“We are disappointed that they are no longer in Haiti,” Nauert said in a statement. “We have been monitoring their case very closely and we are relieved that they are back in the United States safely.”

The two went missing with 30 other members of their Christian group when they attempted to work in a shelter in Port-au-Prince on Sunday. Witnesses said the group was abducted as a militia-like group raided the compound, stealing money, clothes and food.

Ten children, six of them Mickelson’s grandchildren, were among the missing.

Mickelson said the group had hoped to use the shelter in the Tabarre district as part of a charitable program for food, medical assistance and education.

Mickelson had made public appeals for her rescue earlier in the week, posting a video at the aid organization she co-founded – Kids For Haiti – on Tuesday which she called “to let them know we love them and we’re praying for their safe return.”

Local authorities and her family are also seeking the abductors’ capture.

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