Who killed Haitian president Jovenel Moise? 4 killed, 2 arrested, say officials

Haiti’s police chief, Leon Charles said, 'We blocked them en route as they left the scene of the crime'


                            Who killed Haitian president Jovenel Moise? 4  killed, 2 arrested, say officials
Haitian presidential candidate Jovenel Moise arrives at the National Press Club April 20, 2016, in Washington, DC (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Haiti's police chief has stated that four suspected assassinators of President Jovenel Moïse have been fatally shot by police and two others arrested in an apparent hostage-taking situation.

Haiti’s police department was locked in a fierce gun battle on Wednesday, July 7, with attackers who assassinated President Jovenel Moise at his home overnight. Three officers were held hostage and freed in the standoff, according to Haiti’s police chief, Leon Charles. “We blocked them en route as they left the scene of the crime,” he said. “Since then, we have been battling with them,” Charles said in a televised statement. “They will be killed or apprehended.” Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said the police and military were in control of security. The poorest country in the Americas, Haiti has a history of dictatorship and political upheaval. Four "alleged assassins" were killed and 2 were arrested.

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Moise, a 53-year-old former businessman who took office in 2017, was shot dead and his wife, Martine Moise, was severely wounded when heavily armed assassins assailed the couple’s home in the hills above Port-au-Prince at around 1 am local time (0500 GMT).

The killers were described by Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s ambassador to the US, as “well-trained professional commandos” who were feared to have already fled the country. Edmond earlier Wednesday also called the assassins “foreign mercenaries” who tried to pass themselves off as agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Following Moise's assassination, Claude Joseph closed Haiti’s borders and enacted martial law in the already unstable country that is disturbed by gang violence, rising inflation and political protests. First lady Martine who got wounded in the attack was flown to Miami for treatment in critical, but stable condition.

Former President Michel Martelly, whom Moise succeeded, called the assassination "a hard blow for our country and for Haitian democracy, which is struggling to find its way." UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the killing and emphasized that "the perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The Security Council scheduled an emergency closed meeting on Haiti for Thursday, July 8.

US President Joe Biden said he was "shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination," and condemned "this heinous act." The whole statement read: "We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attack on First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti.  We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti."

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