Suspected gang members kill priest in El Salvador

A military vehicle patrols in El Salvador to fight violence blamed on street gangs (AFP Photo/Marvin RECINOS) (AFP)

San Salvador (AFP) - Suspected gang members in El Salvador gunned down a young priest Thursday on his way to celebrate Holy Week festivities, police said.

Father Walter Osmir Vasquez, 31, was driving on a dirt road outside the town of Lolotique, 130 kilometres (80 miles) east of San Salvador when gunmen cut him off and shot him dead, police in that town said.

No motive was given. The government condemned the killing and ordered an investigation.

Soldiers joined police searching for the killers in the area of the attack.

El Salvador has one of the world's highest homicide rates -- 60 per 100,000 inhabitants last year. The government blames powerful street gangs for much of the violence that has engulfed the poor Central American country.

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