Haiti Hunts for More Suspects in Killing of President

Haiti was engulfed in chaos Thursday, a day after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated, with authorities vowing to hunt down more alleged mercenaries responsible for shooting him to death in the bedroom of his home.
 
Police said late Wednesday they had killed four assassination suspects in a gun battle in the capital of Port-au-Prince, arrested two others, and freed three officers who had been held hostage. At least two other suspects were arrested Thursday, according to police.4 Suspects in Moise Assassination Die in ShootoutHaiti’s National Police chief says two other ‘mercenaries’ were arrested in standoff, three policemen held hostage rescued “The pursuit of the mercenaries continues,” said Léon Charles, director of Haiti’s National Police. “Their fate is fixed: They will fall in the fighting or will be arrested.”Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph placed the country under a “state of siege” – effectively martial law.“This death will not go unpunished,” Joseph told the impoverished nation of 11 million people in an address WednesdayWorld Leaders React to Killing of Haiti’s Moïse President was killed Wednesday But officials did not provide any details about those killed in the gun battle or the detained suspects, nor what led police to them. They said only that the attack was carried out by “a highly trained and heavily armed group,” with the assailants speaking Spanish or English.
 
The motivation for the assassination remained unclear, but Haiti has long endured poverty and political turmoil.
 
Carl Henry Destin, a Haitian judge, told the Nouvelliste newspaper that the attackers had posed as agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but both U.S. and Haitian officials said the gunmen had no links to the agency.  Haiti: What We Know Latest developments following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse Destin told the newspaper the attackers tied up a maid and another household staff worker as they headed to the president’s bedroom, where they shot Moise at least 12 times.
 
“The offices and the president’s bedroom were ransacked,” Destin said. “We found him lying on his back, blue pants, white shirt stained with blood, mouth open, left eye blown out.”
 
Moise’s wife, Martine Moïse, was injured in the attack and was airlifted more 1,100 kilometers to a trauma center in Miami, Florida, in the United States. Joseph said she was “out of danger” and in stable condition.
 
While Joseph claimed leadership of Haiti on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola it shares with the Dominican Republic, his tenure may be short-lived.
 Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.Download File360p | 9 MB480p | 12 MB540p | 15 MB720p | 35 MB1080p | 65 MBOriginal | 79 MB Embed” />Copy Download AudioHaiti’s constitution says Moise should be replaced by the president of the country’s Supreme Court, but the chief justice died recently from COVID-19. In addition, a day before his assassination, Moise had named Ariel Henry, a Haitian politician and neurosurgeon, to replace Joseph as prime minister. In a brief interview with the Associated Press, Henry claimed he is the prime minister, but he acknowledged it was an unusual situation.
 
The United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting for Thursday afternoon to discuss Haiti’s crisis. In a statement, its members called for “all parties to remain calm, exercise restraint” and avoid “any act that could contribute to further instability.”
 
U.S. President Joe Biden said he was “shocked and saddened” by the assassination.
 
“We condemn this heinous act,” Biden said in a statement. “I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moise’s recovery.”
 This report includes information from the Associated Press and Reuters.
 

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