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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Jamaican murders at record high
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston has one of the worst murder rates in the world
Nearly 50 murders were reported in Jamaica last week in the Caribbean island's bloodiest seven-day period this year, police say.

A record 47 people were killed in the week of 9-15 August, bringing this year's homicide total to 835.

The number is expected to surpass the record for homicides in a year, which stands at over 1,100 in 2001.

Most of the motives for killings are undetermined, and guns and knives are the most frequently used weapon.

Criminal gangs

However, the mayor of Spanish Town, a suburb of the capital, Kingston, says gangs have been wreaking havoc in the former capital.

Raymoth Notice called for military intervention to deal with the problem.

"The police have tried. We need the army," Mr Notice told Jamaican radio RJR.

At least 13 murders have been committed in Spanish Town since Thursday of last week.

Assistant police commissioner George Williams told RJR radio that a feud between rival gangs over the murder of one of their leaders was to blame for the latest wave of violence.

Jamaica murder rate soars
01 Jan 02  |  Americas
Five die in fresh Jamaica violence
26 Jul 01  |  Americas
Country profile: Jamaica
26 Jun 04  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Jamaica
17 Mar 04  |  Country profiles


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