Tags: army | jamaica | innocents | killing

Jamaicans Accuse Army of Killing Innocents

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 08:39 PM

KINGSTON - 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.

“From Sunday they come in and they just start shooting wildly,” she told The Times by phone from her home on Wilton Hill Drive, in the middle of the violence. “Them shot on my window. Them throw bombs and blow out my window.”

Ms Marshall, who sells jewellery at a local market, said that soldiers shot dead her neighbour when he opened his back door to see what was happening. When his elderly mother went out to help him, she was also shot and wounded, she said.

The woman was taken to hospital, and Ms Marshall is now caring for the dead neighbour’s four children as well as her own two youngsters. “The kids are traumatised and keep crying. They are lying down inside,” she said.

She said that the household had run out of food and that she was unable to go out to buy more provisions. “We’re starving,” she said.

Ms Marshall made claims — echoed by other Tivoli Gardens residents in calls to local radio stations — that soldiers were hauling young men out of homes and shooting them. She also said that she had seen security forces burning bodies near the abandoned Public Works Department building near her home.

“They shoot them in the head, throw them on the fire and light the fire. The fire is made of tyres. That is what they used. They were burning the people,” she said. “I had to come in, so I could not count how many.”

To read full Times of London story — Go Here Now.

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KINGSTON - 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.
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2010-39-26
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 08:39 PM
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