Haiti President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated and his wife wounded in an attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced.
A group of unidentified gunmen attacked Moïse’s private residence overnight on Wednesday and shot him dead, interim Premier Claude Joseph announced.
Joseph said he was now in charge of the country and urged the public to remain calm while insisting the police and army would ensure people’s security.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, was already in a precarious political situation before the assassination, having grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under Moïse.
Moïse, who was 53, ruled by decree for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections and the opposition demanded his resignation in recent months.
The assassination risks further destabilizing the Caribbean nation.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the “perpetrators of this crime”, and Colombia President Ivan Duque called for an urgent mission to Haiti to “protect the democratic order” as nations expressed condolences.