President Joe Biden condemned the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was shot dead by attackers in his private residence overnight.
“The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday.
Haiti’s interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, confirmed the killing and said the military and police were in control of security in the country. Joseph added that the first lady, Martine Moise, was injured in the attack and is being treated at a hospital.
The White House said it was still gathering information about what happened in the early morning assassination.
Biden is expected to be briefed later Wednesday on the matter by his national security team, press secretary Jen Psaki said during an interview with MSNBC.
The attack adds to the political upheaval in the Caribbean country, which has been facing a surge in gang violence, Covid-19 cases and anti-government protests, the Associated Press reported.
Moise, 53, was accused of trying to increase his power and faced months of demands from opposition leaders to step down, according to the AP. He had been ruling by decree for over a year after Haiti did not hold elections.