Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has been assassinated by a group of unidentified gunmen who attacked his private home.
The country’s Interim Prime Minister announced the news in a statement on Wednesday.
Moïse’s wife, first lady Martine Moïse received a gunshot, but undergoing medical treatment, Interim Premier Claude Joseph said.
“At about 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, a group of unknown individuals, some of whom spoke Spanish, attacked the president’s private residence and lethally wounded the Head of State,’’ Joseph said in a statement.
The prime minister condemned this “disgusting, inhumane and barbaric’’ attack on the Haitian president and called for calm.
“The security situation is under control of the national police and the armed forces,’’ Joseph said.
Moïse, 53, had been ruling by decree for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections, which led to Parliament being dissolved.
Opposition leaders have accused Moïse of seeking to increase his power, including approving a decree that limited the powers of a court that audits government contracts and another that created an intelligence agency that answers only to the president.
In recent months, opposition leaders demanded he steps down, arguing that his term legally ended in February 2021.