Here's what we know:
- More violence: Seven people suspected to be involved in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise were killed in a gun battle with the security forces in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, Haiti's Police Chief Leon Charles said Thursday. Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, described the suspects as foreign "mercenaries" and said he believed they had received assistance from Haitian nationals, but officials have divulged few public details on the attack.
- A country in turmoil: Moise's death takes place against a background of extreme violence in the capital Port-au-Prince which has claimed the lives of many citizens in recent weeks. Haiti was already dealing with political turmoil, a growing humanitarian crisis, and a worsening Covid-19 epidemic.
- Leadership vacuum: Ariel Henry, who was appointed prime minister of Haiti on July 5, has contested the leadership of acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph following Moise's killing. Joseph, who was Haiti's prime minister when Henry was appointed, made clear he was assuming leadership on Wednesday by announcing that Haiti was being placed in a "state of siege," closing the country's border and placing it under martial law after a meeting with government ministers.
- First lady is recovering: Edmond said he believes Haiti’s first lady Martine Moise is “now out of danger” and “we will continue to pray for her recovery." While the ambassador told CNN that he does not have the latest report, he said the first lady is “under good care now.” “I’m sure she’s now out of danger," he said.
- Haitians are concerned: The assassination has left many Haitians and Haitian Americans to mourn the loss of both a president and a sense of stability, Rev. Reginald Jean-Mary, a priest in Little Haiti in Miami, told CNN affiliate WSVN. "I felt very broken by knowing the news, that we get so low, we get so down as a country," Jean-Mary said. "The country's in a very difficult position. In the 21st century, that's not where we expected the country to be."
- Seeking support: Joseph said that there is currently a nationwide manhunt for the assailants responsible for the assassination. Joseph, who has imposed martial law across Haiti, said he spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday about United States’ support for Haiti moving forward. “The assassination of President Moïse is devastating for our nation, Haiti has lost a true statesman committed to our country’s democracy and a true believer in Haiti’s potential,” Joseph told CNN’s Eleni Giokos. “Now, this is the government and the entire nation that is mobilized to seek justice for President Moïse.“ Asked if Haiti is asking for UN or US peacekeeping forces on the ground in Haiti, Joseph said that he’s asked for technical support for the Haitian National Police so that they can secure the population, help track down some gangs, and also to help the country hold elections in the coming days.