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State of Emergency Declared in Jamaica

May 23, 2010 By: Kirk Cassels

The State Department has released a travel alert warning U.S. citizens about potential "violence and/or civil unrest" in the Kingston area of Jamaica that could block access roads to the Norman Manley International Airport. On Sunday, Jamaican defense forces battled gunmen who were protecting Tivoli Gardens gangster Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, who faces a U.S. extradition request on cocaine trafficking and gun-running charges.

Air Jamaica has canceled the following flights due to the current unrest: JM 037, scheduled to depart Kingston at 5:35 pm for Fort Lauderdale; JM 036, scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale at 9:25 pm for Kingston; JM 017, scheduled to depart Kingston at 7:25 pm for New York.

According to the Jamaica Observer, one civilian and two policeman were killed, and six officers were injured. A police station in Hannah Town was set on fire and others at Darling Street, Fletcher's Land and Denham Town came under heavy gunfire. The Jamaican government declared a state of emergency for the areas of Kingston and St. Andrew which remains in effect until 6 p.m. Monday.

U.S. citizens living and residing in Jamaica or the Cayman Islands are advised to register their presence in the country through the U.S. Department of State's automated online registration system at  U.S. citizens may also register by visiting the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy consular agencies in Montego Bay and Georgetown, Cayman Islands, during business hours.


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