Jamaica: Violence kills at least 30

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Authorities in Jamaica say that gunfights in the capital Kingston have left at least 30 people dead, as hundreds of troops and police search for an alleged drug kingpin wanted by the US. At least 25 people were injured as well.

The violence has been triggered by the Jamaican government's efforts to extradite Christopher "Dudus" Coke, the alleged leader of the "Shower Posse" group. Armed security forces stormed the Tivoli Gardens slum of western Kingston on Monday in an effort to locate Coke, who has not been found. Last week, Coke's supporters barricaded the area in an attempt to thwart his arrest.

The trouble has forced the closure of schools and businesses across the capital, and the government has appealed for blood donations for the wounded. A state of emergency is in effect for parts of Kingston.

The US has issued a travel alert to warn citizens against visiting the island nation. Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has promised "strong and decisive" action to restore order.


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