El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele announced Wednesday he ordered a military siege around a northern town where alleged gang members murdered a police officer. "Since this morning, we established a security siege around the municipality of Nueva Concepción, Chalatenango, with more than 5,000 members of the armed forces and 500 of the police to catch those responsible for the murder and the entire structure of gang members and collaborators that are still hiding in that place,' the president wrote on Twitter. 'They will pay dearly for the murder of our hero,' he added. The policeman's murder was reported Monday by the National Police in a statement that said the officer was attacked by gang members while on patrol with other officers. "One terrorist was captured at the scene. We are carrying out an operation to find the others responsible," said police. The move by Bukele comes at a time when Congress has extended a state of emergency for 30 days to continue the 'war against gangs' that has led to the arrest of more than 68,000 people. El Salvador first declared a state of emergency in March of last year after three days of violence left 87 dead, which Bukele blamed on the MS-13 gang. The state of emergency, which has been extended for more than a year, has drawn alarm from human rights organizations that see the measure as an opportunity for Bukele's government to curb individual liberties as well as reports of arbitrary detentions and other abuses.
Source: Anadolu Agency