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Saturday, September 26, 1998 Published at 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK

World: Americas

Jamaica steps up security

Several days of violence in Kingston left at least three people dead

The Jamaican government has called in the army as part of a renewed offensive against crime and unrest, after several days of gun battles in the capital, Kingston.

The violence, which left at least three people dead, began on Wednesday after police arrested a West Kingston community leader, Donald Phipps, in connection with an attempted murder.

Shortly after the arrest, news spread that Mr Phipps, known as Zeeks, had been shot and killed.

His supporters took to the streets, mounting numerous road blocks, and as rioting spread across Kingston, shots were fired.

Two civilians and one soldier were killed.

Joint military and police patrols

The minister of national security and justice announced that soldiers who had been pulled off the streets in April this year are to return.

They say joint military and police patrols will be routine. Random checks are to be enforced throughout the weekend.

But the government is still being criticised for not calling a curfew during the height of the crisis.

Mr Phipps has been released on bail and the west Kingston community has been celebrating his release.

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