Haitian politician shot dead, as violent gangs push country to the ‘edge of collapse’
The country’s government has announced it is sending armed troops to restore order in the port city of Port-au-Prince.
The president of Haiti’s National Legislative Assembly, Yves Danton, and other top officials were shot dead on Sunday and the president’s driver – who was shot in the arm – remains in hospital in a stable condition.
The attack in the capital, Port-au-Prince, was described as a ‘terrorist assassination’ by international officials.
Tributes poured in for the dead men on Monday, which saw the top opposition Republican Club cancel a planned rally to protest the killings.
Mr Danton, a former prime minister, was a close adviser to president Michel Martelly before he became president following the death of his father, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in a plane crash in 2004.
‘This is a political assassination, a terrorist assassination,’ said Mark Malloch Brown, the United Nations secretary general. ‘The people of Haiti and the world should be prepared to pay the price of their indifference.’
In a statement, President Martelly called for ‘an immediate and active presence of the national army in the centre of the capital and throughout various regions’ and ‘to protect the lives and property of our citizens’.
He also vowed that if the attackers were ‘guilty of any violent act’, he would ‘take all legal and appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of Haiti’.
Two US officials confirmed that the attack took place in the northern section of the city, and that there was an explosion but they described it as a ‘garden-variety’ car bomb attack.
‘These two guys came out, they had guns and they took everybody out, just went from house to house on the avenue,’ one said.
‘There’s nothing more than a garden-variety car bomb that we know of in this country,’ said the second.
It was the deadliest bombing in Haiti’s modern history, which has been mired in political unrest since a 2010 coup plunged