Several dozen people are now dead in Kingston alone and the violence is showing signs of spreading to other cities as Jamaican state security forces battle gangs in their attempts to arrest drug baron Christopher Coke (also known as "Dudus").
The intention to arrest is on foot of a US extradition request.
"Dudus" is a hero to many of Kingston's slum-dwellers who regard him as a sort of modern day Robin Hood. Residents have been assisting the gunmen in their battles with police and there have been demonstrations in support of "Dudus". "He is next to God", one supporter said. "Just like how Jesus died on the cross for us, we are willing to die for Dudus", said another.
1. RTÉ News: Fears grow over violence in Jamaica
2. The Associated Press: Jamaica police: 30 dead in battle with drug gang
3. Jamaica gunfights claim 30 lives as police and army battle gangsters | World news | guardian.co.uk