San Salvador, El Salvador: MS-13 picks off police

The MS-13 street gang killed two off-duty Salvadoran police officers and three off-duty soldiers this week, in retaliation for a recent police crackdown. Gang members also put a fake body in a car on the outskirts of San Salvador and then detonated explosives in the vehicle when police arrived to investigate, wounding two officers. The wave of attacks comes just weeks after police arrested 117 gang members from 11 separate MS-13 cells for a range of crimes, including murder and extortion. Ricardo Sosa, an expert on the gang, said the attacks may be an attempt to intimidate the incoming president, Nayib Bukele, who takes office June 1. “They are sending a message,” he said, “saying that they control certain parts of the country.”