(ANSA) - ROME, DECEMBER 04 - About 10,000 soldiers have surrounded the city of Soyapango in El Salvador as part of a massive gang repression operation: this was announced by President Nayib Bukele, as reported by the BBC.
All roads leading to the city were blocked and the houses of the gang members were searched by the special forces.
Officers detained anyone attempting to leave the city and checked IDs.
The justice minister announced that 12 people have been arrested so far.
Soyapango is one of El Salvador's largest cities with over 290,000 inhabitants, located just 13 kilometers west of the capital San Salvador, and has long been known as a center for violent gang activity.
"As of now, Soyapango municipality is totally surrounded," President Bukele wrote on Twitter.
"The police and army teams are tasked with finding all the gang members still there one by one."
And he added that ordinary people "have nothing to fear".
Images released by the government showed heavily armed troops in bulletproof vests and carrying assault rifles.