At least seven people are dead after suspected gang members attacked a hospital in Guatemala City in a bid to free a jailed associate who went there under police supervision for a checkup. Ryan Brooks reports.
With weapons drawn, police closed in on a Guatemala city hospital on Wednesday (August 16), surrounding it from every angle. It was a hunt for suspected gang members who attacked the building earlier, killing seven people and injuring 12 others in an effort to free a jailed associate who had come in for a medical checkup. Gang members stormed the hospital armed with rifles. Three security guards and a janitor were among those killed. Bullet holes and bodies in the street are evidence of the brutal attack. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALAN PRESIDENT, JIMMY MORALES, SAYING: "We are united with other countries to fight against these criminal gangs that are causing the mourning day by day of Central American families. The majority of the criminal acts are linked to drug trafficking, extortion, gangs, assassination, abduction and the illegal trafficking of firearms." Five of the seven suspected gang members have been arrested by police. Patients evacuated from the building, as officers searched for more attackers. Guatemala struggles with endemic gang violence, particularly from MS-13 and its rival Calle 18, known for spreading terror across Central America.