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2 American citizens held for assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise

Police officers on Thursday guard a group of suspects tied to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo by Jean Marc Herve Abelard/EPA-EFE
Police officers on Thursday guard a group of suspects tied to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo by Jean Marc Herve Abelard/EPA-EFE

July 9 (UPI) -- Authorities in Haiti say more than two dozen people were involved in this week's shocking assassination of President Jovenel Moise at his home in Port-au-Prince -- including at least two American citizens.

Investigators are trying to track down everyone involved in Moise's killing on Wednesday. Officials say mercenaries broke into the president's home and attacked he and his wife. Moise was killed and his wife was injured.

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Late Thursday, authorities said at least 28 people were involved in the plot and more than a dozen have been captured so far.

Elections minister Mathias Pierre said among the captured perpetrators are two naturalized U.S. citizens who hold dual American and Haitian citizenship -- James Solages and Joseph Vincent.

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Haiti Police Chief Leon Charles said many of the others who were involved in the Moise assassination are Colombian nationals. Police said 17 of the 28 have so far been detained. At least three have been killed, officials said.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday that the U.S. government is cooperating with Haitian authorities in the investigation.

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Colombia's defense ministry said in a separate announcement that six of the suspects in Moise's assassination are retired members of the Colombian Army. Two of the dead suspects have both been identified as Colombians.

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Bocchit Edmond, Haiti's ambassador to the United States, said the suspects were mercenaries who were aided in the assassination plot by Haitian nationals.

At the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime called on federal officials to provide additional security to Haiti and supported a commitment from President Joe Biden to assist.

"America and the international community must provide that security," Wilson said, according to WPLC-TV. "It's not just a president who was assassinated. It was who assassinated him and why."

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Martine Moise, the president's wife, was shot several times and is being treated at a Florida hospital, officials said. Her condition is critical.

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