Haiti police battle gunmen who killed president

Haiti police have killed four people suspected in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, the police chief announced Wednesday, and two more have been arrested.

The government has declared a two-week state of emergency as it chases down the killers, who shot Moise dead in his home in Port-au-Prince overnight.

Haiti police chief Leon Charles said Wednesday they had blocked the assassins as they were leaving the crime scene, and had been locked in a standoff with them ever since.

Moise's wife Martine was also shot and severely wounded, and has received medical treatment.

Haiti's ambassador to the United States told Reuters the gunmen were masquerading as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, a move that would likely have helped them gain entry to Moise's guarded residence.

Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph has called for calm across the country, the poorest nation in the Americas.

Bustling streets were deserted Wednesday as vehicles transporting Moise's body to the morgue were rerouted due to gunshots and roadblocks.

Moise's assassination came amid calls for his resignation, over corruption allegations, economic mismanagement, and his tightening grip on power.

The nation of 11 million has grappled with political unrest for decades, and faces a surge in gang violence and a growing humanitarian crisis.

The United States, Haiti's top aid donor, was quick to condemn the crime, and vowed to promote peace and security in the region.

Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic closed the border it shares with Haiti in anticipation of violent unrest.

The U.N. Security Council is set to evaluate the situation in a closed-door meeting on Thursday.

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