US citizens, ex-Colombia soldiers held in Haiti leader's assassination

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Seventeen suspects person been detained truthful acold successful the stunning assassination of Haiti's president, and Haitian authorities accidental 2 are believed to clasp dual U.S.-Haitian citizenship and Colombia's authorities says astatine slightest six are erstwhile members of its army.

Leon Charles, main of Haiti's National Police, said Thursday nighttime that 15 of the detainees were from Colombia.

The constabulary main said 8 much suspects were being sought and 3 others had been killed by police. Charles had earlier said 7 were killed.

“We are going to bring them to justice,'' the constabulary main said, the 17 handcuffed suspects sitting connected the level during a quality league connected developments pursuing the brazen sidesplitting of President Jovenel Moise astatine his location earlier dawn Wednesday.

Colombia's authorities said it had been asked astir six of the suspects successful Haiti, including 2 of those killed, and had determined they were retired members of its army. It didn't merchandise their identities.

The caput of the Colombian nationalist police, Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia, said President Ivan Duque had ordered the precocious bid of Colombia's service and constabulary to cooperate successful the investigation.

“A squad was formed with the champion investigators ... they are going to nonstop dates, formation times, fiscal accusation that is already being collected to beryllium sent to Port-au-Prince,'' Vargas said.

The U.S. State Department said it was alert of reports that Haitian Americans were successful custody but could not corroborate oregon comment.

The Haitian Americans were identified by Haitian officials arsenic James Solages and Joseph Vincent. Solages, astatine property 35, is the youngest of the suspects and the oldest is 55, according to a papers shared by Haiti's curate of elections, Mathias Pierre. He would not supply further accusation connected those successful custody.

Solages described himself arsenic a “certified diplomatic agent,'' an advocator for children and budding person connected a website for a foundation helium started successful 2019 successful southbound Florida to assistance radical successful the Haitian coastal municipality of Jacmel. On his bio leafage for the charity, Solages said helium antecedently worked arsenic a bodyguard astatine the Canadian Embassy successful Haiti.

In Port-au-Prince, witnesses said a assemblage discovered 2 suspects hiding successful bushes, and immoderate radical grabbed the men by their shirts and pants, pushed them and occasionally slapped them. An Associated Press writer saw officers enactment the brace successful the backmost of a pickup and thrust distant arsenic the assemblage ran aft them to a constabulary station.

“They killed the president! Give them to us! We're going to pain them,'' radical chanted extracurricular Thursday.

Officials person fixed retired small accusation connected the killing, different than to accidental the onslaught was carried retired by “a highly trained and heavy equipped group.''

Skepticism abound

Not everyone was buying the government's statement of the attack. When Haitian writer Robenson Geffrard, who writes for a section paper and has a vigor show, tweeted a study connected comments by the constabulary chief, helium drew a flood of responses expressing skepticism. Many wondered however the blase attackers described by constabulary could penetrate Moise's home, information item and panic country and flight unharmed but past beryllium caught without readying a palmy getaway.

A Haitian justice progressive successful the probe said Moise was changeable a twelve times and his bureau and chamber were ransacked, according to the Haitian paper Le Nouvelliste. It quoted Judge Carl Henry Destin arsenic saying investigators recovered 5.56 and 7.62 mm cartridges betwixt the gatehouse and wrong the house.

Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who assumed enactment of Haiti with the backing of constabulary and the military, asked radical to reopen businesses and spell backmost to enactment arsenic helium ordered the reopening of the planetary airport.

Joseph decreed a two-week authorities of siege aft the assassination, which stunned a federation already successful situation from immoderate of the Western Hemisphere's worst poverty, wide unit and governmental instability.

Haiti had grown progressively unstable nether Moise, who had been ruling by decree for much than a twelvemonth and faced convulsive protests arsenic critics accused him of trying to amass much powerfulness portion the absorption demanded helium measurement down.

The U.N. Security Council met privately Thursday to sermon the concern successful Haiti, and U.N. peculiar envoy Helen La Lime said afterward that Haitian officials had asked for further information assistance.

_AP_

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