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El Salvador's parliament has approved a request for a second extension of the state of emergency imposed to fight street gangs, requested by President Naib Bukele.

It was originally announced for a month in late March, but in April it was extended to the end of May, the Associated Press reported.

The emergency measures were introduced after an unprecedented outbreak of violence in late March, which killed 62 people who fell victim to organized crime in just one day.

The war against the gangs will continue as long as possible, Security Minister Gustavo Viatoro said today.

We will continue to fight this cancer until the gangs are eradicated in El Salvador, he said. 

The imposition of emergency measures has allowed authorities to arrest some 34,500 alleged gang members.

More than 9,000 gang members have been detained in El Salvador in the past 15 days

Human rights activists have criticized the temporary powers given to police, saying arrests are often arbitrary and depend on people's appearance and where they live.

As a rule, law enforcement agencies are guided by detentions from specific tattoos typical of gang members, Euronews reports.

About 90 percent of Salvadorans support their president's policies.

El Salvador

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