White House says delegation to Haiti safe after gunshots heard at president's funeral

Pallbearers in military attire carry the coffin holding the body of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise after he was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in Cap-Haitien, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The delegation U.S. President Joe Biden sent to Haiti is "safe" after gunshots were heard near the funeral for the Caribbean country's former leader, Jovenel Moise, the White House said on Friday.

"The presidential delegation is safe and accounted for in light of the reported shootings outside of the funeral," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

"We are deeply concerned about unrest in Haiti."

The delegation to the funeral, which was led by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is returning home slightly earlier than originally expected due to the security concern, according to a source familiar with the situation.

"The Haitian people deserve democracy, stability, security, and prosperity, and we stand with them in this time of crisis," Thomas-Greenfield said on Twitter, adding that they discussed matters with the Haitian leadership. "We urge everyone to express themselves peacefully and refrain from violence."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington and Michelle Nichols in New York; Writing by Trevor Hunnicutt, Editing by Franklin Paul and Giles Elgood)

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