President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, has been assassinated.
According to a statement from the Office of Interim Prime Minister, Claude Joseph, Moise was killed overnight at his private residence.
“He was fatally wounded by a group of unidentified men, some of whom were speaking Spanish,” the statement said.
The gunmen were said to have broke into Moise’s residence at about 1am on Wednesday.
Joseph called for calm in the country, saying “police and armed forces are in control of the situation and would ensure the population’s safety.”
The PM, who said he is now in charge of the country, added that Moise’s injured wife was in the hospital.
Moise had been ruling Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, by decree, after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed in the wake of disputes, including on when his own term ends.
In addition to the political crisis, kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months, reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation.
Haiti also faces chronic poverty and recurrent natural disasters.