US Embassy in Haiti requests extra security amid riots

Missionaries, nurses trapped in Haiti amid protests

The US embassy in Haiti has requested additional U.S. Marines and State Department security personnel to bolster security amid the riots that are taking place there, two U.S. officials tell CNN.

The approved request includes a Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit, consisting of approximately 13 Marines, as well as other security personnel who would reinforce members of the U.S. Marines Corps and State Department security personnel already in place.

The Marine Security Augmentation Unit, consisting of 13 Marines, is currently in bound to Haiti according to one U.S. military official

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti has instructed all staff to shelter in place. It warned citizens Saturday to stay inside amid continued demonstrations in the capital of Port-au-Prince and a northern city following a sharp hike in fuel prices ordered by the government.

Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant on Saturday announced a temporary stop to the price increases and appealed for calm. Prices for gasoline were to rise 38 percent while diesel prices were to go up 47 percent and kerosene 51 percent, the Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported.

The State Department updated its travel advisory for Haiti on July 9, raising it to “Level 4: Do Not Travel.”

“We do not discuss specific security matters concerning the protection of our facilities or personnel,” a State Department official said in a statement Tuesday. “The security and safety of Americans are among our highest priorities.”

“Local law enforcement and U.S. embassy security authorities will take appropriate measures to safeguard personnel and visitors.”