Jovenel Moïse: Foreign team killed Haiti’s president, police say

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A group of 28 foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers, assassinated Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse earlier in the week, police say.

Most were detained after a gun battle at a house within the capital Port-au-Prince where they were holed up.

Bloodied and bruised, suspects have paraded ahead of media on Thursday, alongside a slew of seized weapons.

Eight more suspects are still on the run and three others were shot dead by cops.

Police say they’re still checking out the masterminds behind the attack.

In the early hours of Wednesday, a gaggle of gunmen broke into the president’s range in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and shot him and his wife. Mr. Moïse was found lying on his back with 12 bullet wounds and a gouged eye, and died at the scene, consistent with authorities.

His wife Martine was seriously injured and has been flown to Florida for treatment, where she is claimed to be in a stable condition.

Police said the team included 15 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans.

Angry civilians had joined within the look for the gunmen and helped police hunt a number of them who were hiding in bushes.

“We Haitians are appalled, we don’t accept it,” one man told the AFP press agency. “We are able to help because we’d like to understand who is behind this, their names, their background in order that justice can do its job.”

The crowd later set fire to 3 of the suspects’ cars and destroyed evidence. The captain involved calm, saying the general public shouldn’t take the law into their own hands.

Taiwan confirmed that 11 of the suspects were arrested at its embassy, where that they had broken into one among its courtyards.

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

At the press conference on Thursday, police also showed reporters Colombian passports. “Foreigners came to our country to kill the president,” Mr. Charles said because the suspects sat on the ground behind him in handcuffs.

Colombia’s government has confirmed that a minimum of six of the suspects seemed to be retired members of its military. it’s pledged to help Haiti with its investigation efforts.

The US state department, meanwhile, said it couldn’t confirm if any of its citizens had been detained.

However US and Canadian media are reporting that one among the twin citizens arrested, James Solages, 35, is from Florida and was a former bodyguard at the Canadian embassy in Haiti.

An investigating judge told local media that Mr. Solages and therefore the other US citizen, named Joseph Vincent, had said they were there as translators for the mercenaries, after finding the work on the web.

“The mission was to arrest President Jovenel Moïse… and to not kill him,” Judge Clément Noël told Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper.

The killing has triggered some civil unrest in what’s the poorest nation within the Americas. A state of emergency remains effective across the country, while the Dominican Republic – which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti – has closed its border.

How did the attack unfold?
Heavily armed assassins stormed the president’s range in the hills above Port-au-Prince at around 01:00 civil time (05:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Video released after the shooting seemed to show men wearing black pretending to be US drugs agents, shouting: “DEA [US Drug Enforcement Administration] operations, everybody stays down!”

The president’s office and bedroom were ransacked during the attack.

The couple’s daughter Jomarlie and sons Jovenel Jr and Joverlein are reported during a safe location. Jomarlie survived by hiding in a bedroom, while two domestic staff members were engaged by the attackers.

Who is responsible for the country?
The assassination has prompted confusion over who should be responsible for Haiti – the principles are complex and hospitable interpretations.

Further complicating matters is that Mr. Moïse died on the brink of the top of his time in office and there’s currently no National Assembly in Haiti because its mandate ran out after the 2019 elections didn’t happen.

Amendments to the present constitution suggest the prime minister should lead, but Mr. Joseph’s legitimacy is disputed. During his four years in office, Mr. Moïse had six prime ministers and on Monday, each day before he was killed, he had nominated a seventh, Ariel Henry.

Mr. Henry had not yet been sworn in but insists he should be responsible.

Mr. Joseph, who is interim prime minister, told the BBC he was “puzzled” by Mr. Henry’s statement.

The UN has said Mr. Joseph should remain responsible until elections are held later this year.

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