SOURCE: BBC- A deadly gun battle between police and the men suspected of assassinating Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse has been raging in Port-au-Prince.
Police chief Léon Charles said four suspects had been killed and two detained but some remained at large and a manhunt was still under way.
“They will be killed or captured,” the police chief said.
Mr Moïse, 53, was fatally shot and his wife was injured when attackers stormed their home early on Wednesday.
Police chief Charles described dramatic scenes as officers confronted the alleged assassins.
“We blocked [the suspects] en route as they left the scene of the crime,” he told a news conference. “Since then, we have been battling with them.”
Officials say the suspects are well armed and took three police officers hostage. The three have since been freed.
Mr Charles urged residents to stay indoors for their own safety.
Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Bocchit Edmond, later said that more than 20 “mercenaries” had been arrested.
The acting prime minister, Claude Joseph, has described Haiti as being “in shock” after the killing of Mr Moïse.
Heavily armed assassins stormed the president’s home in the hills above Port-au-Prince at around 01:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
Mr Moïse died at the scene. The president’s body had 12 bullet wounds, Magistrate Carl Henry Destin told Le Nouvelliste newspaper.
The president’s office and bedroom were ransacked and he was found lying on his back, covered in blood, the magistrate said.
First Lady Martine Moïse, 47, has been flown to Florida where she is said to be in a critical but stable condition.
The couple’s three children, Jomarlie, Jovenel Jr and Joverlein, are reportedly in a “safe location”, officials said.
Mr Destin said that Jomarlie had survived by hiding in her brother’s room, while two domestic staff members had been tied up by the attackers.
Police chief Charles gave no further details of the attackers or what their motive may have been.
Ambassador Edmond told the NTN24 channel: “They are mercenaries; they were paid for this job of coming to assassinate the president and we hope that they will reveal for whom it was they were working.”
Mr Joseph had earlier said the attackers were “foreigners who spoke English and Spanish”. Haiti’s official languages are Creole and French. Haiti’s communications minister later said there were Haitians among the suspects.