Jamaica diary: Caught in the crossfire

A police officer stands guard near Tivoli Gardens, Kingston

Jamaican police say at least 73 people are now known to have been killed in four days of clashes as police hunted for an alleged drug lord in Kingston.

People living in the affected area in Kingston and have been giving updates to BBC News about the situation there.

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JUSTINE - THURSDAY 27TH MAY 2010

Soldiers stand on lookouts on the rooftop of buildings in the Tivoli Gardens Soldiers keep lookout in Tivoli Gardens

I'm still stuck inside the house. The soldiers are outside and if you go out you'd be shot.

Many people have died, far more than the official figures. The news has shown the military collecting up the bodies then dumping them into boxes at the cemetery. People had been lying on the streets for three days and the bodies had begun to swell. Some bodies have been burnt and lots have been taken to hospital as well.

My neighbour who was shot is still in her house. She needs medical attention but is unable to go out. They have been ringing for help, she needs to be taken to hospital. I have been calling the Prime Minister's office trying to get them to do something. They just brush me off.

We don't know when the Prime Minister will lift this ban but we are crying out for help. Children need food. I'm having to make my food go further. I have run out of credit on my phone and need to go out to get more.

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People felt safe to walk the streets when Dudus was here”

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The soldiers knocked on some houses and took some guys to clean the streets. Afterwards they were taken to the police station. I don't know if they have been released.

I think the man they are looking for, Dudus, has gone. He's a good man. When he was here, he brought security. People felt safe to walk the streets, even at night. You could come and go as you pleased. There was no robbing, no raping. You could leave your house open - no one troubled you. All the robbery and crime will start again if he's gone.

OMAR - THURSDAY 27TH MAY 2010

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My father and mother were killed by bombs dropped from a helicopter”

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My father and mother were killed on Monday night. They lived in Tivoli Gardens and were killed by bombs dropped from a helicopter. A lot of people are dying here; it's a terrible situation.

I don't know what has happened to their bodies. We are under curfew and can't go out whilst soldiers are on the streets. My parents' bodies could still be on the street, they may have been burnt (we saw bodies being burnt at Coronation Market on the TV news) or they may be in the cemetery.

I live with ten others and we are running out of food. The Red Cross brought us water, bread and biscuits but it's not enough for everyone.

We think the state of emergency will last one month but I am sure Dudas has long gone.

KEISHA - THURSDAY 27TH MAY 2010

A woman waits for news of her son at the gates to Jamaica's National Stadium A woman waits for news of her son the National Stadium

I'm living here with my six year old daughter and there are four other children in the house. No one is wounded but we're all hungry.

We have to keep quiet and keep away from doors and windows otherwise risk getting shot at, though I have occasionally seen black smoke and bullet holes in the buildings and you can hear the gun shots. I can't wait for it to be over so we can get food, water and clothing.

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We have to keep away from doors and windows in case we get shot”

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We watch the news for the latest developments. Some men have been arrested and taken away to the National Stadium. I'm not sure what has happened to my parents or the men in my family. I can't call because the phone is locked off so I don't know if they have been taken away.

JUSTINE - WEDNESDAY 26TH MAY 2010

Jamaican police patrol a market area near the Tivoli Gardens Police on patrol near Tivoli Gardens

I live just three streets away from Tivoli Gardens, the centre of the violence. We are scared to go out as the police and soldiers are shooting at anyone. Some are shooting from the high rise buildings. No-one seems to know what is really going on here. Journalists are not being let into Tivoli Gardens.

Innocent people are being killed. My neighbour was shot in the face. There were dead bodies in the street which have only just been removed. I had to keep on ringing to ask for them to be taken away.

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I haven't been out of the house since Sunday”

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I haven't been out of the house since Sunday. I'm at home with my nephew but I feel very uneasy. People need food, water and medication. I have a little food in the house and my medication will run out on Saturday.

Friends and neighbours have been keeping in touch over the phone. We hear different stories. Many people have been killed and there was a rumour that the security forces were throwing bombs into Tivoli Gardens from helicopters.

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