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All of the kidnapped missionaries in Haiti have now been released

Workers ride out of the gate of the Christian Aid Ministries headquarters in Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Dec. 6.
Odelyn Joseph
Workers ride out of the gate of the Christian Aid Ministries headquarters in Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Dec. 6.

Updated December 16, 2021 at 2:16 PM ET

All of the 17 members of a missionary group who had been held hostage in Haiti are free, exactly two months after they were kidnapped by a Haitian gang.

Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said on Thursday that the 12 remaining hostages had been freed. That is in addition to the two who were released on Nov. 21 and three others on Dec. 6.

There were 16 Americans and one Canadian in the group, which included five children. The hostages ranged in age from 8 months old to 48.

"Join us in praising God that all seventeen of our loved ones are now safe," the group wrote. "Thank you for your fervent prayers throughout the past two months. We hope to provide more information as we are able."

Carleton Horst, a member of the Hart Dunkard Brethren Church in Hart, Mich., knows several of those who had been kidnapped because they are connected to the church. After church members learned of the hostages' release, Horst told NPR he's "feeling great and ... relieved, and just trusting, praising the Lord for it."

The 400 Mawozo gang in Haiti, which kidnapped the group on Oct. 16, had demanded $1 million ransom per person (it's not clear whether that included the children) or the hostages would be killed.

NPR's Laurel Wamsley contributed to this report. A version of this story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.

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