November 19, 2001

Two men killed in fourth day of Jamaican violence

                 KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Two men were shot dead and a police officer
                 injured in the fourth day of gang-related violence in downtown Kingston on

                 The violence that started on Friday has now left eight people dead and 11 people
                 injured, police said.

                 Police said the violence is being waged between gangs in the neighboring
                 communities of Tel Aviv and Matthew's Lane, sparked by the shooting death of a
                 Tel Aviv resident last week.

                 On Monday, two men were killed by several gunmen in the central Kingston area,
                 police said.

                 Constable Wayne Santouse of the Special Anti Crime Task Force was shot and
                 injured by gunmen in west Kingston, police said. He was with a patrol that came
                 under fire from gunmen who then fled on foot, police said. Three police cars also
                 were damaged. There were no arrests.

                 "The areas are still tense but the security forces are present to help put things under
                 control," said police spokeswoman Constable Natasha Green.

                 Military helicopters and soldiers deployed on Sunday were maintaining a presence in
                 the areas, but officials would not say how many were there. A curfew also has
                 been enforced to keep people off the streets after dark.

                 Still, Deputy Police Superintendent James Forbes said the security forces,
                 especially the police, are short by at least 1,000 personnel.

                 Gangs with clashing political loyalties dominate several areas of the city, especially
                 west Kingston, where gunfights flared in May, leaving nearly 100 people dead in
                 three months.

                 However, the neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and Matthew's Lane, about 1 mile (1.5
                 kilometers) apart, both largely support the governing People's National Party.

                 Several families in the areas have already fled their homes and others were
                 preparing to leave.

                 "I am not going to wait until this gets worse like the war in July," said Sylvia
                 Falconer, a 38-year-old mother of three who lives in the Matthew's Lane area.

                 Kingston's gangs -- used by politicians in the 1970s and 1980s to bring voters to
                 the polls -- still maintain strong party loyalties.

                 Also in central Kingston on Tuesday, a protest by street vendors angry about being
                 forced out of the area caused many stores to close in the commercial center. Police
                 kept a strong presence in the area to guard stores they feared might be looted, but
                 there were no arrests.

                 Although most of the 10,000 vendors in the area moved into the 12 markets
                 refurbished by the Kingston and Saint Andrew Corp., others bearing placards
                 refused to do so, screaming "No sellers, no stores." Some said it would hurt
                 business to move locations before their key sales season before Christmas.

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