State of emergency extended for one month
PARLIAMENT this afternoon extended the state of public emergency until July 22. The extension was granted after Prime Minister Bruce Golding tabled a motion earlier.
On May 24 Golding declared the state of emergency in response to civil unrest which broke out in sections of the Corporate Area. Armed thugs barricaded themselves inside the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens while others attacked and killed two cops and injured six others.
The gunmen, who vowed to defend wanted fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke to the death, also attacked and torched several police stations, burning one to the ground.
The security forces launched a major offensive against criminal elements who were holed up in Tivoli Gardens. After two days of fighting the criminal element was defeated and the security forces have maintained a presence there ever since.
Seventy three civilians were killed in the conflict.
Police statistics indicate that murders have decreased significantly since the state of emergency was imposed while almost 90 illegal guns and more than 12,000 rounds of ammunition have been seized.
Coke is wanted by the US government to face gun and drugs running charges and has managed to elude several attempts by the security forces to collar him.
Police have placed a $1.7 million reward for his capture.