Shots Reportedly Fired at Funeral of Haitian President Moise, No Information on Injuries
16:24 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 18:38 GMT 23.07.2021)
© REUTERS / RICARDO ARDUENGOPallbearers in military attire carry the coffin holding the body of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise after he was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in Cap-Haitien, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
© REUTERS / RICARDO ARDUENGO
The head of state was killed on 7 July when gunmen attacked his residence in the Haitian capital late at night. His wife was injured during the assault, which authorities say was conducted by a group of mainly foreign mercenaries.
Shots have been fired at the funeral of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, Reuters reported, citing witnesses. Sounds resembling gunfire occurred soon after the event began, witnesses told the outlet. Foreign guests, which included a delegation from the United States and UN officials, were hurried to their vehicles. The White House said the US delegation is safe and accounted for following the incident.
There have been no reports of injuries.
Reports say that shots may have been fired by law enforcement personnel who were trying to disperse protesters that have been demonstrating outside the funeral, calling for justice for the assassinated president. Reuters writes that witnesses smelled tear gas.
Angry protests over Moise’s death have been ongoing in the country, with the biggest being held in his hometown Cap-Haitien, where demonstrators burned tyres and blocked roads. Many protesters vented their anger at the authorities, accusing them of failing to protect the president.
As mentioned earlier, Moise was killed on 7 July in his private residence. According to some reports, the attackers stormed their way into the building, while other reports suggest that the gunmen were disguised as US Drug Enforcement Administration agents, a ruse that helped them get into the building without resistance from the president’s security.
Moise’s wife Martine was wounded during the attack and flown to a US hospital for treatment. She was discharged in time to attend the funeral.
Authorities say they still don’t know who ordered the assassination. Police have detained a group of people who were involved in the assault. Among them are 26 former Colombian soldiers and two Haitian-Americans. Reports say at least six of the former Colombian soldiers previously received military training in the US. Five of the gunmen are said to be at large.
Supporters of the late president claim he was killed by a Port-au-Prince-based elite in a plot against the country’s poor black majority. Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told CNN that Moise was aware of a potential assassination and that is why he would rarely leave his home.