Haitian President Jovenel Moise was shot dead by unidentified attackers in his private residence overnight in an “inhuman and barbaric act”, Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said on Wednesday (July 7).
Moise’s wife was injured and was receiving medical care, Joseph said in a statement.
The attack occurred amid a rising wave of politically linked violence in the impoverished Caribbean nation. With Haiti politically divided, and facing a growing humanitarian crisis and shortages of food, there are fears of widespread disorder.
Joseph said all measures were being taken to “guarantee the continuity of the state and to protect the nation”. Gunshots could be heard throughout the capital.
Port-au-Prince had been suffering an increase in violence as gangs battle one another and police for control of the streets.
That violence was fuelled by an increase in poverty and political instability. Moise has faced fierce protests since he took office as president in 2017, with the opposition accusing him this year of seeking to install a dictatorship by overstaying his mandate and becoming more authoritarian – charges he denied.