Seven killed in shootout at Colombian cemetery

December 1st, 2009 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Dec 1 (EFE) A shootout between suspected gang members during a burial at a cemetery left seven people dead in the southwestern Colombian city of Cali over the weekend, officials said.
Six of the victims belonged to a family that was visiting a grave at the cemetery Sunday, Cali Metropolitan Police chief Col. Miguel Angel Bojaca said.

The seventh victim belonged to one of the gangs that engaged in the shootout at the Central Cemetery in Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca province.

A 76-year-old man, three of his sons, a nephew and his brother-in-law died while visiting the grave of the elderly man’s wife, who died earlier this month, Bojaca said.

The shootout started during the burial of a suspected gang member who was murdered on the city’s east side, Cali Deputy Police and Justice Secretary Fortunato Garcia said.

“Initial reports we have are that (the men involved) are people who belong to criminal gangs,” Garcia told an RCN radio correspondent.

The men “likely clashed for retaliation, for vengeance on the part of the organised crime groups that are abundant in the city of Cali”, Garcia said.

Two suspects involved in the shootout have been arrested, police said.

Officials are offering a reward of 50 million pesos (about $25,000) for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the shootout.

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