(Update: adds airport and border closures, background)
Port-au-Prince, Jul 7 (EFE).- The president of Haiti Jovenel Moise has been assassinated by armed assailants at his private residence in the capital Port-au-Prince in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the interim prime minister said.
In a statement, Claude Joseph said that First Lady Martine Moise also suffered a gunshot wound in the attack and required medical attention.
“At around 01:00 (…) a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom were speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the President of the Republic and mortally wounded the Head of State,” the statement, signed by Joseph, the acting PM who had officially been replaced on Tuesday, said.
Joseph condemned the “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act” and called for calm in the restive Caribbean nation.
Police and the armed forces have taken control of the security situation in the country, he added.
The airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed, with flights due to land in the Haitian capital either re-routed to other countries or cancelled, while neighboring Dominican Republic has shut its four border crossings with Haiti.
The country has been mired in a political crisis since 2018 which came to a head on Feb. 7, when Moise accused the opposition and judiciary of plotting a coup d’état.
Moise’s assassination came two months before presidential and legislative elections slated for 26 September.