El Salvador: 6 killed in shootout between gangs, guards

Associated Press

San Salvador, El Salvador — Authorities in El Salvador say six people have been killed in a shootout in the capital’s historic center.

Police say presumed gang members attacked a private security guard and then killed three street vendors nearby. That touched off a gunbattle with guards who defended their colleague. Five gang suspects were detained.

National police Deputy Commissioner Evelyn Marroquin tells reporters that Wednesday’s violence stemmed from “a problem between guards and gang members.”

San Salvador’s historic center is known to be divided in two areas dominated by the rival Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs. Their members extort street vendors and kill those who don’t pay.

El Salvador has posted some of the highest homicide rates in the world in recent years, largely because of raging gang violence.