Authorities in El Salvador say a national police officer has been decapitated after visiting his girlfriend on leave amid the growing bloodshed between gang and government forces.
Police and prosecutors say they believe the 37-year-old from a small town in eastern El Salvador was the 41st officer to be slain this year by the country’s powerful street gangs. The gangs are also suspected in the killings of 19 soldiers and a prison guard during the same period.
The government has been locked in a bloody war with the nation’s gangs, with seven police officers and one soldier slain over the past 10 days.
Security forces have also inflicted heavy losses on the gangs, sparking accusations of extrajudicial killings.
The Central American country was among the world’s deadliest last year.