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Haiti's President Jovenel Moise has been assassinated at home in a bloody raid while the first lady has been taken to hospital amid political instability in the Caribbean country, an official has said.
Mr Moise was killed by "gunmen in a nighttime raid at his home," it has been reported.
The property, in the suburbs of the capital Port-au-Prince, was attacked by a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom allegedly spoke Spanish, at around 1am on Wednesday, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a statement.
His wife Martine has been taken to hospital after she was said to have been injured with a gunshot wound.
The shocking news comes after Mr Moise, 53, claimed in February this year that he was the victim of an assassination plot which had been foiled by police.
He said at the time: "There was an attempt on my life. I thank my head of security at the palace.
"The goal of these people was to make an attempt on my life. That plan was aborted."
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Haiti, a Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic to its east, has long been marred by political instability and poverty.
The country has struggled to rebuild from the devastating earthquake in 2010 which killed more than 100,000 people, as well as Hurricane Matthew which struck in 2016.
Mr Moise's political opponents have accused him of corruption over his decision to axe fuel subsidies, while he defended himself against these allegations and that he was turning Haiti into a dictatorship.
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He told The Telegraph: "We're trying to find a solution to this crisis. I'm not the first president to rule by decree.
"And I'm confident that the answer is around the corner; then the legislature will be put in place to play its role."
Thousands marched through the capital Port-au-Prince in February calling for a new government over claims that Mr Moise's term had expired and he was ruling unconstitutionally.
In addition to the political crisis, kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months, further reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation.
Interim PM Mr Joseph said Haiti remained under the control of the police and armed forces, adding that "all measures are taken to guarantee the continuity of the State and protect the Nation".
- In the News
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