SAN SALVADOR (AFP) – More than 2,000 soldiers and police surrounded two districts in El Salvador’s capital on Saturday as part of President Nayib Bukele’s war on gangs, the second such operation this month in the Central American country.
“As of this morning, the Tutunichapa district in San Salvador is totally surrounded,” Bukele posted on Twitter. “More than 1,000 soldiers and 130 police officers will extract the criminals who still remain,” he added. Bukele later tweeted that 1,000 more soldiers and 100 police officers had been dispatched to La Granjita, another neighbourhood in the capital.
“After encircling Tutunichapa, a famous drug distribution centre, we knew that many drug traffickers would take refuge in the neighbourhood of La Granjita, another famous distribution centre”, Bukele tweeted.
Images released on Saturday by the President’s office showed heavily armed soldiers entering Tutunichapa, a populous district where small houses mostly constructed of concrete blocks stand alongside one of the many polluted streams that run through San Salvador.