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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated and wife shot

Prime Minister Claude Joseph of Haiti spoke after the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, who died in an attack on his private residence on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti was assassinated in an attack in the early hours of Wednesday at his home on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, the interim prime minister said, creating a political void that threatens to deepen the turmoil that had gripped the country for months.

As foreign governments struggled to assess the situation, millions of Haitians anxiously huddled around radios and televisions, staying off the streets as they tried to understand what the coming days might bring.

Mr. Moïse’s wife, Martine Moïse, was also shot in the attack, the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, said in a statement. Her condition was not immediately clear.

“A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” the prime minister said, but there was little solid information about who might have carried out the assassination.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Joseph said that he was the one running the country at the moment. Still, it was unclear how much control he had, or how long it might last. A new prime minister had been scheduled to replace Mr. Joseph this week, and the head of the nation’s highest court, who might also have helped establish order, died of Covid-19 in June.

Later Wednesday, in a televised broadcast to the nation, Mr. Joseph presented himself as head of the government and announced that he and his fellow ministers had declared a “state of siege.”

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