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Heavy police presence in part of Jamaican capital

May 11, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Authorities ordered a heavy security presence in a section of Jamaica’s capital Sunday after residents put up roadblocks to protest the killing of two men by police.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force said the men were killed late Saturday when they engaged officers in a shootout in East Kingston’s Rockfort community. One pistol and three rounds of ammunition were seized after the gunbattle, police said.

Residents of the neighborhood disputed the police version, insisting the men were killed in cold blood. People threw stones at officers and blocked roads in protest, including a major artery to the capital’s international airport. The blockades were cleared when police reinforcements arrived.

The fatal shootings are being investigated by an independent commission that probes alleged abuses by police and soldiers on the Caribbean island.

Parts of East Kingston have been troubled by a rise in violence for months. Police have imposed regular curfews.

Last year, 258 people were killed by security forces in Jamaica — 39 more than the previous year.

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