16 of those killed lived outside Tivoli
KINGSTON – Sixteen of the people found dead in Tivoli Gardens after gunmen loyal to fugitive Christopher “Dudus” Coke exchanged gunfire with police and soldiers over three days late last month are not from that West Kingston community, the Sunday Observer learnt.
According to a highly placed security source on Saturday, the addresses of the 16 men were ascertained after they were identified by relatives.
“They were mostly from western Jamaica,” said the source, who requested anonymity.
The security official also said that the authorities were awaiting forensic test results to determine whether the 73 civilians killed in the clashes had fired guns.
Military and police officials had revealed that Coke, who is wanted by the United States Government to face drug and gun trafficking charges, had imported at least 400 gunmen from outside Tivoli to fight in his defence.
Coke’s fighters were trying to prevent the police from arresting him and taking him before a Resident Magistrate’s Court where a determination would be made in relation to the United States government’s request for his extradition.
The May 24 operation in Tivoli Gardens followed days of appeals by the police for residents to remove barricades from all entrances to the community and unprovoked attacks on the security forces by gunmen in Tivoli and other sections of the Corporate Area.
Two policemen were killed by gunmen in an ambush on Mountain View Avenue on the night of May 23, while two police stations and a section of the Coronation Market were torched by members of Coke’s militia. A soldier was also shot dead during the military assault on Tivoli. (Jamaica Observer)