Jamaica police put death toll at 73

May 28, 2010 12:00 am

, KINGSTON, May 28 – Jamaican police have recovered 73 bodies since launching an assault for an alleged drug kingpin, a senior official said Thursday, although he said a few may not have died in the operation.

"There are 73 bodies that we have," Glenroy Hinds, deputy commissioner of police, told a news conference.

"They are all civilians, but civilians are sometimes gunmen and gunwomen," he said.

But he said there was "some doubt" as to whether six of the people died in the operation or in other parts of Kingston, which is notorious for its murder rate.

Three security personnel have been killed and 28 others injured, Hinds said.

Jamaica on Sunday launched a major assault in impoverished western Kingston to capture powerful local don Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who is wanted in the United States on charges of drug trafficking.

Hinds said that the operation has still not netted Coke.

"Our best information is that he was not arrested. His whereabouts we cannot tell you," he said.

The lines between civilians and combattants have become blurry in the conflict, with many local people strongly loyal to Coke whom they view as a Robin Hood-type patron.


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