44 die in Jamaica clashes between Police, Gunmen

May 26, 2010 18:23

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican security forces claimed a tenuous hold over the slum stronghold of a gang leader sought by the US, but only after battles that killed at least 44 civilians, the country's official ombudsman said Wednesday.

Officers and soldiers were still fighting holdout defenders of accused drug lord Christopher Coke, known as "Dudus," in pockets of the Tivoli Gardens area. He was still at large after nearly three days of street battles. Police have said that at least four soldiers and police officers also have died in fighting in West Kingston and elsewhere around the capital.

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