U.S. sent personnel to protect embassy after Haiti assassination, say officials

·1-min read
Haitian police stand guard as protests were planned after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States sent a small number of personnel to shore up security at its embassy in Haiti after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, three U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The killing of Moise on July 7 by a squad of gunmen at his home in Port-au-Prince pitched Haiti deeper into an already fraught political crisis.

While it is not uncommon for the United States to send additional security forces, include Marines, to its embassies around the world during times of crises, the deployment highlights the level of uncertainty in the aftermath of Moise's killing.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said fewer than a dozen personnel were deployed in the days after the killing and it was not immediately clear how many had since returned to the United States.

Haiti has also requested the deployment of U.S. troops in the country to help secure key infrastructure after the assassination.

A letter from the office of Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph to the U.S. embassy in Haiti, dated Wednesday and reviewed by Reuters, requested the dispatch of troops to support the national police in reestablishing security and protecting crucial infrastructure.

While the request is still under review, officials said the Pentagon does not currently see the need for deploying military personnel to Haiti.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali, additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Rosalba O'Brien)

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