Fourteen die as gangs target buses in El Salvador

Residents looking at the crime scene Attacks on buses are not unusual, but this one was particularly violent

Related Stories

Police in El Salvador say they have captured a number of alleged gang members they accuse of torching a public bus, killing 11 people.

Gunmen had earlier boarded another bus in the capital San Salvador and shot dead two children and an adult.

Police said they suspected gang members had carried out the attacks in revenge for President Mauricio Funes' clampdown on violent street gangs.

But some analysts said it could be part of a turf war between rival gangs.

Salvadorean Security Minister Manuel Melgar called Sunday's incident "an act of terrorism".

Protection rackets

Attacks on public transport companies are not uncommon in El Salvador.

Criminal gangs have in the past torched buses of companies who have refused to pay protection money, but this is the first time a bus was set alight with its passengers on board.

An investigator who asked to remain anonymous told BBC Mundo two rival gangs were fighting over control of the neighbourhood where the attacks happened.

"The Mara Salvatrucha gang wanted to extort money from this bus company, but the company was already being extorted by the 18th Street Gang and told them they couldn't pay off two gangs, and that's how this butchery started," he said.

The BBC's Eric Lemus in El Salvador says the attack has taken gang violence to a new level and shocked the country.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexSeeding science Watch

    The retired professor who turned village children into engineers


  • Krouwa Erick, the doctor in Sipilou town at the border of Ivory Coast and Guinea - 27 August 2014Bad trip

    The Ebola journey no-one in Ivory Coast wants to take


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.