Four “mercenaries” suspected of assassinating Haitian President Jovenel Moïse were killed by police on Wednesday night — and two others were arrested in a tense gunbattle in the impoverished country, officials said.
Three officers were held hostage and freed in the standoff, according to Haiti’s police chief, Léon Charles.
“We blocked them en route as they left the scene of the crime,” he said. “Since then, we have been battling with them,” Charles said in a televised statement.
“They will be killed or apprehended.”
Moïse, 53, was killed in a gun attack at his home outside Port-au-Prince around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The killers were earlier described by Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s ambassador to the US, as “well-trained professional commandos” who were feared to have already fled the country.
Edmond earlier Wednesday also called the assassins “foreign mercenaries” who tried to pass themselves off as agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Following the assassination of Moïse, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph closed Haiti’s borders and enacted martial law in the already-unstable country that is plagued by gang violence, surging inflation and political protests.
First lady Martine Moïse was also wounded in the attack. She was flown to Miami for treatment in critical, but stable condition.