Salvadoran president confirms deployment of 10,000 troops against gangs in Soyapango

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Archive image of the Salvadoran Army – Camilo Freedman/dpa

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced on Saturday that the municipality of Soyapango, annexed to the country’s capital, is now «completely closed» due to the deployment of some 10,000 security forces to put an end to the gang threat in the territory.

«8,500 soldiers and 1,500 agents have surrounded the city, while the extraction teams of the Police and the Army are in charge of removing one by one all the gang members who are still there,» said the president, through his Twitter account.

The president decreed a state of emergency at the end of March — when the country registered up to 62 homicides in just one day — which has been extended in recent months and under which more than 50,000 suspected gang members have been arrested.

«Ordinary citizens have nothing to fear and can continue going about their lives normally. This is an operation against criminals, not against honest citizens,» the president added in the following message.

«Phase 5 of the Territorial Control Plan has begun,» Bukele said in relation to this security plan, which, according to what he said on Thursday, managed to close November with a balance of 13 homicides, making it the «safest» month in the history of the Central American country.