The official manhunt for the assassins who burst into the president’s house in Port-au-Prince continued on Thursday, but as some ordinary Haitians set out to capture suspects themselves, setting fire to vehicles believed to have been used in the attack, the interim prime minister appealed for calm and urged people to refrain from using violence against those who were involved in the attack.
The interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, addressed a news conference on Thursday afternoon, saying, “I’m asking everyone to go to their homes.” “The situation has been brought under control by the police.”
The goal, according to Mr. Joseph, is to maintain national security while also obtaining justice for former President Jovenel Mose and his family.
Haiti’s police chief, Léon Charles, announced that the authorities had apprehended six suspects in the last 24 hours. Additionally, he stated that police had recovered three bodies, all of whom were identified as “visibly foreigners,” in addition to five vehicles believed to have been used in the assassination plot.
However, he claimed that several of those vehicles had been set ablaze by citizens, making it impossible for police to gather evidence.
“Vigilante justice is not something we can have,” Mr. Charles stated. “Allow us to go about our business. “Please assist us in our work.”
On the streets of Pétionville, a wealthy suburb of the capital close to the president’s residence, however, tempers were high and tensions were high. In front of the police station, a large crowd gathered, demanding to speak with the chief of police about the assassins, some of whom were believed to be inside the building.
Some people called for justice on the streets.
They screamed, “Burn them to death!”
Later, as they began to drift away from the police station, some of the demonstrators took their rage to the streets, attacking a car dealership at one point. The police detained two protesters and took them into custody.
Video of a crowd of more than 30 Haitians pulling light-skinned men through the streets of a densely packed neighbourhood has gone viral on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. One of the men was shirtless, and his arms were tied behind his back with a rope by the wrists. According to reports in The New York Times, the men were taken to the police station by members of the crowd who appeared to be unarmed at the time.
The police were also encircling two buildings where suspects in the assassination had taken refuge, according to Helen La Lime, the top United Nations official in Haiti, who spoke at a press conference.
According to Haiti’s minister of elections, Mathias Pierre, one of the suspects apprehended in Haiti is an American citizen of Haitian descent from the southern state of Florida.
Mr. Joseph, the interim prime minister, asked people to return to work on Thursday, just one day after declaring a “state of siege” and imposing a curfew across the country. He also announced plans to reopen the country’s main airport.