BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — At least seven people have been killed in Haiti as protests marked with violence broke out over a significant rise in gasoline prices, local media reported on Saturday.

Demonstrators burned tires, looted shops and set cars on fire in the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to radio broadcaster Metropole.

There were reports of some gunfire. A hotel was also attacked in the rioting, HPN news agency said.

The seven casualties were reported following looting in the capital, the HPN news agency said. Police also spoke of casualties but did not mention any figures.

Protests were also reported from Cayes, Jeremie, Cap-Haitien and Jacmel. The country’s airports were closed.

Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant said on Twitter that a planned price hike of up to 50 percent had been suspended. “The government strongly condemns the acts of violence and vandalism,” he wrote.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and relies heavily on aid contributions from abroad. Corruption and violence are commonplace in the Caribbean country, and anti-government protests often descend into riots.


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