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Sunday, 27 January 2008

Massacre by gunmen of a dozen people

The head of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary
Best, is treating as acts of "urban warfare" from a criminal
network, the slaughter of the 12 occurred two days after an
army patrol was ambushed in the village of Buxton and a
soldier killed during a fierce 20-minute firefight.

Guyana Gunmen stormed into a coastal village Saturday and killed 11 people, including five children, in violence blamed on a gang leader who has threatened widespread attacks. The assault sparked angry protests over rising crime in this impoverished country.

Massacre by gunmen of a dozen people, among them
three children, and a separate drive-by shooting at police
headquarters in Georgetown.
Police Commissioner Henry Greene said yesterday that his force
was on "full alert" but not yet in a position to make any
connection between the killing of the GDF corporal (Ivor
Williams) on Wednesday night; the murder of the 12 civilians
in the nearby village of Lusignan; and an earlier daring
drive-by shooting attack outside Police Headquarters in the
city that resulted in the wounding of two cops.
Disturbed and frustrated villagers were angrily blocking
traffic with drums and burning tyres up to late yesterday in
protest of the massacre that has sparked widespread of a
likely return to paralysing criminal rampage of seven years
ago.
The killings and armed clashes involving a suspected
well-armed criminal network based in the hot spot village of
Buxton and the drive-by shooting outside police headquarters
is viewed by the security forces has renewed fears of a return
to the frightening scale of sustained criminal rampage
following a jailbreak by a group of armed men from the
Georgetown Prison in February 2002.
President Bharrat Jagdeo held an emergency meeting with the
top brass of the army and police and later told a hurriedly
summoned press briefing that the murder of the dozen around
one 'o clock yesterday morning who lived in five separate
humble dwelling houses, "could not have been done by human
beings but rather by animals..."
He also noted that the massacre of the 12 had followed the
confrontation between a GDF patrol and armed criminals in
Buxton, a development that coincide with an ongoing
controversy over the disappearance of high-powered,
sophisticated weapons and a new initiative by the recently
appointed new Chief of Staff of the army, Commodore Best.
The firefight of Wednesday night between the ambushed army
patrol and armed criminals came against the backdrop of police
search for a claimed kidnapped teenaged-girl friend of a most
wanted ex-GDF soldier, Rondell Williams (alias 'Fineman').
He remains in hiding but has been reportedly making
threatening phone calls to the police unless his missing girl
friend is found.
Both Commissioner Greene and Chief of Staff Best said they
have no knowledge about the whereabouts of the missing
teenager, whose name has been given as Tenisha Morgan.
The GDF's commander has warned that he would "do whatever it
takes" to pursue the heavily armed men how terrorising East
Coast villages in an apparent new strategy to spawn "urban
warfare".
He has warned that Guyana's security and national interest
would be firmly protected and the army was "committed to
winning this fight".
Police Commissioner Greene said that robbery was evidently not
a motive for the killings of the dozen villagers, a shocking
development that had led to mass protests by villagers along
the East Coast of Georgetown who have blamed lack of efficient
and effective responses by the security forces for continuing
daring criminal attacks.

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