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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 December 2007, 04:47 GMT
Guatemala shoot-out kills eight
Guatemala policemen
Several hundred policemen surrounded the house

Eight people have died in a four-hour gun battle between police and thieves in a suburb of Guatemala City.

An armed gang had robbed a jeweller in a shopping centre, killing a security guard who tried to stop them.

Several hundred police then surrounded them in a house outside the city, where they refused to surrender.

A policeman was killed in the exchanges of gunfire, and six bodies, assault weapons and hand grenades were later found in the house.

Wounded Guatemala policeman
Three policemen were among those wounded
Seventy soldiers were also involved in the operation.

One local radio station, broadcasting from the scene, carried recordings of a man shouting: "The only way we'll come out is dead."

Five people - three policemen, a soldier and a police spokesman - were injured.

Police suspect the gang had been behind a series of similar robberies in the area.

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