The situation in Jamaica continues to worsen: The country's most prominent pastor, Bishop Herro Blair, estimated 44 civilians have been killed in West Kingston in the ongoing clashes to find Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a drug kingpin due to be extradited to the U.S. Jamaica police place the official number at 26. Police said four soldiers and police officers have also been killed after thousands of police and soldiers stormed the slums looking for Coke, who had once been protected by ties to the ruling Labor Party. Prime Minister Bruce Golding said he was surprised at the intensity of the fighting, and he promised an independent investigation into the civilian deaths at the hands of the security forces. Coke is still at large, but officials said they have made gains in the slums, whose residents claim Coke protects them against the criminal underworld.
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