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Haitian Senate President Shot, Injured

FILE - Haiti Senate President Joseph Lambert, center, arrives for a press conference at the Senate chambers, in Port-au-Prince, Jan. 10, 2022.

Haitian Senate President Joseph Lambert was shot and wounded by unknown gunmen Sunday in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood near the parliament building.

A family member told VOA Creole that Lambert is being treated for his injuries at a hospital in the Haitian capital.

The incident comes two days before the terms of a small group of senators, the only currently elected officials in Haiti, expire.

Haiti is struggling to control an uptick in gang violence and kidnappings that prompted the government last month to appeal to the international community for help. The government of Prime Minister Ariel Henry is asking for a rapid force to intervene in Haiti to help quell the gang violence. The United Nations Security Council has discussed the matter, but no decision has been made.

In November 2022, Lambert was one of two Haitian politicians targeted by U.S. Treasury Department sanctions. U.S. officials accuse Lambert of being involved in drug trafficking.

Canada also imposed sanctions against the career politician.

Lambert has denied the accusation and vowed to fight the sanctions in court.