Jamaica death toll now 73

2010-05-27 22:59

Kingston - Security forces went door-to-door through a bullet-pocked Jamaican slum on Thursday and said at least 73 people were killed in four days of gun battles as they searched for a reputed drug lord.

The target of the manhunt, Christopher "Dudus" Coke, was nowhere to be found.

"We are still searching for Mr Coke," said Deputy Police Chief Glenmore Hinds.

"Certainly we can't disclose where we are looking."

Hinds said police and soldiers have found 73 bodies, three of which were killed in incidents not related to the raid.

"The 73 bodies we're speaking about are all civilians," Hinds said. "But civilians are sometimes gunmen and gun women."

He confirmed three police officers were killed in the fighting, and the army earlier said a soldier was killed as well. Twenty-eight security forces were injured.

Hinds denied claims by residents that police were burning some bodies.

Barricaded

Security forces were in control in Tivoli Gardens, the slum where Coke enjoys widespread support and is referred to as "president". They let residents move about freely on Thursday afternoon.

Sporadic gunfire could still be heard in the neighbouring slum of Denham Town, where some streets remained barricaded by local gang members.

A crowd of some 100 people in Denham Town pointed at May Pen cemetery, shouting to reporters: "There are a lot of bodies over there."

Soldiers patrolled the cemetery and barred anyone from entering.

The director of Jamaica's Red Cross said he was trying to get access to the neighbourhood.

"We know there are people with urgent needs there," Jaslin Salmon said. "We've also been told there are bodies in there."

More than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the four days of fighting, most of them in Tivoli Gardens. 

Six weapons

Police were searching for weapons, but so far have found only six weapons and 7 000 rounds of ammunition, Hinds said.

Community groups said police should have expected the violent reaction to the raid, especially since Coke supporters had been hoarding weapons since the US demanded his extradition last August.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, whom Coke helped to get elected, had wavered nine months before agreeing to extradite him.

Information Minister Daryl Vaz said officials are trying to identify the bodies and that the government will launch an independent investigation into police actions in the raid.

The four-day gun battle occurred around the capital on Jamaica's south coast, far from the tourist resorts on the north shore of the Caribbean island.

- AP
Read more on:    christopher coke  |  bruce golding  |  jamaica
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Financial Data Capturer

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc

?? ???????? ??-?????????/??-???????

Western Cape
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R10 000 - R11 000 Per Month

Produksiebestuurder Vrugte Paarl

Western Cape
We’ll Do It Staff Recruitment & Labour Law Services
R25 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.