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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Foreign Hit Squad Killed Haiti’s President: Police

Most of the suspected assassins were detained after a gun battle at a house in the capital Port-au-Prince where they were holed up

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Divya Dhadd
Divya Dhadd
Journalist

Haiti: Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was killed in an attack earlier this week at his residence in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The authorities reported late Wednesday that they had intercepted “suspected assassins.”

Police said that a group of 28 foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers, assassinated President Moïse. Most were detained in a gun battle at a house in Port-au-Prince where they were holed up. Eight other suspects are still on the run and three were shot dead by police officers, reported BBC.

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In the early hours of Wednesday, a group of gunmen broke into the president’s Port-au-Prine residence and shot him and his wife, Martine Moïse. President Moise died at the scene with 12 bullet wounds, according to authorities. Martine has been flown to Florida for treatment and is said to be in a stable condition. 

According to police, the hit squad included 15 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans. Columbia’s government has confirmed that at least six of the suspects appeared to be retired members of its military, promising to assist Haiti with its investigation efforts. Taiwan confirmed that 11 of the suspects were arrested at its embassy, where they had broken into one of its courtyards, BBC reported. The US state department, could, however, not confirm if any of its citizens had been detained.

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The motive for the attack is still unclear. However, Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph told BBC that the 53-year-old president may have been targeted because he was fighting corruption.

Didier Le Bret, a former French ambassador to Haiti, said the situation in Haiti had become so volatile that “many people had an interest in getting rid of Moïse.” He said he hoped Joseph would be efficient in running the country, despite his lack of political legitimacy.

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The killing has triggered severe civil unrest in what is the poorest nation in the America. A state of emergency remains in force across the country.

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