‘A community in distress’

Businessman Laurence Heffes steps out of a store on West Queen Street which was looted. Businessmen toured the downtown Kingston district yesterday - the first time since Sunda

There are growing concerns about the conditions facing hundreds of residents still barricaded in Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town.

The residents have been unable to leave the community since Sunday when they were blockaded first by criminals and then by the security forces.

Some food was delivered to the communities yesterday by a mission led by Bishop Herro Blair, but from inside Tivoli Gardens, residents claimed this was not sufficient to ease the pangs of hunger.

Other residents claimed they were in need of medical care, even though the Jamaica Defence Force has said it was facilitating treatment for those in need.

Yesterday, journalists were again prevented from entering Tivoli Gardens, with a Gleaner team being turned back by soldiers whenever it went too close to the entrances. The Government has been heavily criticised for a constipated flow of information from the war zone as fears mount about the number of fatalities and the health and safety of civilians.

State authorities have also refused to divulge the nature of the artillery unleashed on Tivoli in the operation amid claims by residents that powerful explosives were used.

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