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A crowd gathers outside a Port-au-Prince police station where assassination suspects are being held. Photo: Valerie Baeriswyl/AFP via Getty

Haitian officials said Thursday that four suspects in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse were killed in a gunfight and six more were arrested, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen.

The state of play: The government is describing the assailants as foreign “mercenaries” but has filled in only fragments of the picture in terms of how and why Wednesday morning’s attack was carried out.

  • Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph says he’s now in charge, and he's declared a “state of siege,” which gives the security forces additional powers. Vigilantes have also been hunting for suspects, the NYT reports.
  • But Joseph only became prime minister in April and was due to give up the job to Ariel Henry, who was appointed by Moïse two days before his death.
  • Henry also claims to be in charge, deepening concerns over a potential power vacuum.

The big picture: Haiti was already in the midst of a political crisis.

Be smart: You often hear the headline that Haiti is the “poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” but the history matters, writes Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo, who has lived in and reported from Haiti.

  • Haiti was France’s richest colony before slaves revolted against the French, culminating in Haitian independence in 1804.
  • France then forced the Haitian government to pay illegitimate debts for over 122 years.

Go deeper

Former Haiti envoy says he learned of deportations "on the news"

Daniel Foote in 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The former special envoy for Haiti said Thursday that he learned of the deportations of thousands of Haitians seeking shelter in the Texas border town of Del Rio "on the news just like the rest of us."

The backdrop: Ambassador Daniel Foote's remarks come two weeks after he resigned from his post over the use of a Trump-era public health order to rapidly expel migrants staying in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.