Managua (AFP) - A criminal gang attacked and killed five police officers on Nicaragua's southern Caribbean coast, one of the Central American country's most violent regions, authorities said.
The assault in the municipality of Bluefields took place when the gang attempted to free one of their own, who had been arrested, according to a statement.
Saturday's attack came as a police unit was moving the detained gang member who, together with the perpetrators, managed to get away.
Three police volunteers were among the five fatalities.
Police have launched a search operation in an attempt to find the fugitive and killers.
Nicaragua's southern Caribbean region is considered one of the country's most violent due to property disputes, poverty and the presence of criminal groups, according to reports by the area's Catholic church.
Overall, Nicaragua has a homicide rate of 8.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the lowest in Central America.