According to a BBC report, it was a group of 28 foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers, who assassinated Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse earlier this week, police say.
After a gun battle in the capital Port-au-Prince, 17 were detained, some at the house they were using, others after entering Taiwan’s diplomatic compound. Police killed three suspects, and eight are still being sought. Bloodied and bruised, arrested suspects were shown to the media on Thursday, along with a slew of seized weapons.
It is still unclear who organised the attack and with what motive.
In the early hours of Wednesday, the attack took place when gunmen broke into the president’s home in Port-au-Prince, shooting him dead and wounding his wife. According to authorities, Mr Moïse, 53, was found lying on his back with 12 bullet wounds and a gouged eye.
Martine Moïse, 47, was seriously wounded and is in a stable condition after being flown to Florida for treatment. Police said the hit squad included mainly Colombians, along with two Haitian-Americans. Found in the suspects’ possession were firearms, sets of US dollar bills, the president’s personal chequebook and the server that held surveillance camera footage from his home, Le Nouvelliste newspaper reported. Taiwan confirmed that 11 of the suspects were arrested after breaking into a courtyard at its compound.
Angry civilians had joined the search for the gunmen and helped police track down some who were hiding in bushes. The crowd set fire to three of the suspects’ cars and destroyed evidence.” We Haitians are appalled; we do not accept it,” one man told the AFP news agency. “We are ready to help because we need to know who is behind this, their names, their background so that justice can do its job.”