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Last updated: 05 October, 2005 - Published 21:39 GMT
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JA shock at brutal murder
Jamaicans have expressed shock and outrage at the murder of four people who were shot dead when gunmen firebombed their house and shot them as they tried to escape.

The attack is the latest in a series of violent incidents which have taken place in the troubled south-west St. Andrew community in recent months.

The house, located off Maxfield Avenue in the constituency which adjoins the capital Kingston was fire bombed by a group of armed men in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

As the victims tried to escape from the burning house, their attackers opened fire and prevented them from fleeing the heavily grilled house.

Neighbours who rushed to assist the victims were forced to retreat as the gunmen reportedly opened fire on them as well.

By the time police and fire officials arrived, the house was gutted and they discovered the bodies of a woman, her elderly parents and her ten-year-old niece.

Gang war

The Police confirmed claims by residents that a gang feud was at the heart of the attack.

Head of the Kingston Western Police Division, Deputy Supt Delroy Hewitt said the police have strong leads linking men from a nearby community to the atrocity.

According to the Supt Hewitt, some of the men involved in this morning's attack are being pursued by the police.

He said the attack may have been a reprisal for an incident yesterday during which a man they said was a gang member was shot by men from the area where fire took place.

This morning, high ranking members of the ruling People’s National Party, including MP Portia Simpson Miller and Finance minister Dr Omar Davies visited the area.

They arrived shortly after residents mounted roadblocks in protest against the killing. However, the roadblocks were quickly cleared by members of the security forces.

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