(Port-au-Prince) — The President of Haiti has been assassinated and his wife shot.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated after a group of unidentified people attacked his private residence, the country’s interim prime minister said in a statement Wednesday.
The Haitian government says President Moise was killed by a group of assailants in his home early this morning. The first lady was also shot in the attack, but survived.
Moïse’s wife, First Lady Martine Moïse, is hospitalized, interim Premier Claude Joseph said.
Joseph condemned what he called a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act,” adding that Haiti’s National Police and other authorities had the situation in the Caribbean country under control.
The killing late Tuesday comes amid deepening political and economic stability and a spike in gang violence.
A government statement does not identify the assailants, but says they spoke Spanish.
Between 1911 and 1915, seven Haitain presidents were assassinated or overthrown in Haiti, increasing U.S. policymakers’ fear of foreign intervention.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was Haiti’s first democratically elected president in 1990 but was ousted in the 2004 coup d’état.