Jamaica declares state of emergency

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 24, 2010 02:57




KINGSTON, Jamaica — Masked men torched a police station and traded gunfire with security forces in a patchwork of barricaded slums in Jamaica's capital Sunday, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.

Sporadic gunshots rang out in gritty West Kingston where defiant supporters of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a Jamaican "don" sought by the US on drug and arms trafficking charges, turned his Tivoli Gardens neighborhood and other areas into a virtual fortress with trashed cars and barbed wire.

In barricaded Hannah Town, close to Tivoli Gardens, black smoke spiraled into the sky from a police station set aflame by molotov cocktails.

Officers fled the burning station in impoverished West Kingston, where a 2001 standoff between gunmen and security forces killed 25 civilians as well as a soldier and a constable.


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