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  HOME | Central America

Gunmen Kill 5, Wound 6 in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR – At least five people were killed and six others wounded by gunmen who attacked a restaurant in Tonacatepeque, a city in central El Salvador, the National Civilian Police, or PNC, said Sunday.

The massacre occurred Saturday night, when a group of people who were talking at the establishment were attacked by the unidentified gunmen, a PNC spokesman said.

The suspects apparently used rifles to kill their victims, the police spokesman said.

Four people were pronounced dead at the restaurant on the highway to Tonacatepeque, located 16 kilometers (about 10 miles) north of San Salvador, and the fifth person died at a hospital, the PNC spokesman said, adding that the victims ranged in age from 20 to 52.

Six other men, ranging in age from 18 to 24, were wounded and taken to a hospital in San Salvador.

The PNC is trying to determine the motive for the attack and to identify the gunmen.

El Salvador registered a record 4,365 murders, or an average of 12 per day, in 2009.

Last month, 404 people, or an average of 13 per day, were murdered in the Central American country, police figures show.

Officials blame much of the violence afflicting El Salvador on murderous youth gangs and other criminal outfits.

El Salvador’s two largest violent youth gangs, known as “maras,” are Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha.

Last week, six gang members were killed and three others wounded in an attack by unidentified individuals in a rural area near the town of Suchitoto.

The attack occurred near a river in Milingo, a district under the jurisdiction of Suchitoto, located 44 kilometers (27 miles) north of San Salvador, a PNC spokesman said.

The dead and wounded gang members reportedly belonged to Mara 18.
 

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