A shooting between gang members and police in Colombia’s second largest city Medellin left two policemen and one civilian dead Sunday.
The violence took place in the troubled Comuna 13, one of the city’s most violent districts.
According to Medellin authorities, a number of policemen were taken under fire while attending an emergency call following gang earlier combat between gangs in the southwestern El Salado neighborhood.
Following the death of the policemen, at least 80 members of the police entered the neighborhood where several of their colleagues reportedly were still under fire.
Four suspected gang members — two of them the alleged leaders of the rival gangs — were arrested following the incursion, mayor Anibal Gaviria said when visiting the neighborhood afterwards.
The Comuna 13 has been one Medellin’s most violent neighborhoods since 1999 when paramilitary groups began to take control of the neighborhood that is considered of strategic importance for illegal armed groups because of its connection to the highway to the Caribbean.
Following the official demobilization of paramilitary organization AUC between 2003 and 2006, and the extradition of warlord Don Berna in 2008, infighting between groups formed from the AUC have left hundreds dead, an unknown number of people disappeared and hundreds displaced.