Army accused of murdering innocent bystanders in battle to arrest ‘drug lord’

Police accompany a truck containing the bodies of alleged supporters of local don and drug kingpin Christopher Coke.

RESIDENTS of a besieged Jamaican slum have accused the army of shooting indiscriminately and burning victims’ bodies in a rampage through their neighbourhood hunting for an alleged drug baron.

Officials said that most of those killed in the search for Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who is wanted by the United States, were young men near barricades or entrances to buildings who were fighting to prevent police from executing an arrest warrant issued last week. Mr Coke is alleged to be the head of an international drug gang called the Shower Posse.

Residents say that many of the victims were innocent bystanders. Hospital sources said that at least 60 people had died since thousands of soldiers and police stormed the Tivoli Gardens district of Kingston.

Annette Marshall, trapped in her home in Tivoli Gardens since Sunday, said that troops had been shooting erratically and firing rocket-propelled grenades as they bulldozed houses in the area.

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