KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica Police today (May 27) revealed that the bodies of some 73 civilians have been recovered from the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens following the recent battle between members of the nation’s security forces and gunmen.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) with Responsibility for Operations, Glenmore Hinds, informed members of the local and international press gathered at a special media briefing held at the Hilton Kingston hotel that 15 of these bodies are currently being processed for burial.
“Of these 15, there is some doubt that six actually came from the area of operation. We are in fact certain that three did not, and three, we are advised, came from an area close to the area of operation and could be murder victims,” he said. A significant majority of the bodies found are males, he informed.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Glenmore Hinds
DCP Hinds further disclosed that three members of the security forces had been killed in the ensuing battle – one soldier from the Jamaica Defence Force and two members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The policemen were killed on Mountain View Avenue.
Additionally, some 28 members of the security forces had been wounded, while 26 civilians received injuries.
He said the joint military/police team also recovered more than 7,000 rounds of assorted ammunition and six firearms – four rifles, two pistols – from the area and the search for additional weapons is ongoing.
“The operation is continuing and we are endeavouring to recover as many of those arms that we are quite certain some still remain in the area of operation,” DCP Hinds said.
Speaking to the processing of persons detained by the security forces, DCP Hinds said a number of individuals have already been identified for release.
He further informed that a release panel, comprising Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Criminal Investigations Branch and a Senior Superintendent of Police from the Operations and Intelligence branches, has been formed to oversee the release of detainees.
“We have also invited the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) to recruit a representative to be on that panel, so these persons would look at the person detained and determine release once they are not wanted,” he said.