Editor Note: At the time of this publication the condition of First Lady Martine Moïse is not immediately clear
The President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in an attack on his private residence by a group of armed criminals. According to a statement from the country’s prime minister, the First Lady, Martine Moïse, was also shot and remains in the hospital.
Claude Joseph stated a group of unidentified armed men stormed the president’s home in Port-au-Prince at 01:00 local time (05:00 GMT).
The Guardian reports, ” ‘Around one o’clock in the morning, during the night of Tuesday 6 to Wednesday 7 July 2021, a group of unidentified individuals, including some speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president and fatally injured the head of state,’ Joseph said in a statement quoted in the media.”
The first lady also suffered bullet wounds during the attack and has been hospitalized.
Moïse, 53, was elected in 2016 and took office in February 2017. Earlier this year, there were widespread protests in the capital and other cities calling for his resignation.
The Dominican Republic, which borders Haiti, has ordered the “immediate closure” of its border.
The attack was described as “horrific” and “tragic” by the White House. US President Joe Biden will be briefed by his national security team later, according to Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the White House said in an interview with MSNBC.
“It’s a horrific crime,” Psaki added in an interview with CNN. “We stand ready and stand by them to provide any assistance that’s needed.”