73 killed in Jamaican drug violence

Kingston, May 28 (IANS/EFE) At least 73 people were killed and dozens wounded in clashes between security forces and drug gangs in Jamaica, authorities said.

Clashes erupted during raids Thursday to capture crime boss Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, who is wanted by the US on drug and weapons charges.

About 500 people have been arrested in the raids, said Glenmore Hinds, the deputy police chief.

The casualties occurred in the Tivoli Gardens neighbourhood of the Jamaican capital, a stronghold of Coke and the parliamentary constituency of Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding.

The hunt for Coke began last weekend after Golding approved a US request for Dudus’ extradition.

US prosecutors say Coke is the leader of the violent Shower Posse drug gang.