TIVOLI Gardens strongman Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke is still at large despite a major security dragnet imposed on the volatile community of Tivoli Gardens during a two-day operation by the security forces.
National Security Minister Dwight Nelson made the announcement during a press briefing at Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s official residence, Vale Royal, this afternoon.
“Up to the last briefing I got the answer is no,” Nelson told journalists.
The security forces stormed the community in an attempt to serve an arrest warrant on Coke, who is wanted by United States authorities on gun and drug running charges.
Official police reports are that 26 civilians, two police officers and a soldier have been killed during the outbreak of violence. Seven cops and four Jamaica Defence Force soldiers were also injured.
Army fatigues, ballistic vests, binoculars and a cache of guns and ammunition were recovered during the operation.
Colonel Rocky Meade, head of communications of the Jamaica Defence Force shot down claims that soldiers were burning bodies inside Tivoli Gardens.
“Based on our training I would be very surprised if those reports were true,” Meade said.
He said the security forces used the necessary force to repel the threat posed to the state.
“The JDF owns no fighter jets but I can assure you that we used no more force than was necessary to protect our troops,” Meade said.