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Jamaica Death Toll Near 50 in Street-Fighting Over Alleged Drug Lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke, Sought By U.S.

Christopher "Dudus" Coke (AP Photo) AP Photo

KINGSTON, Jamaica (CBS/AP) Jamaican security forces and police have claimed a tenuous grip on the slum stronghold of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, alleged drug cocaine and arms trafficker wanted by the United States.

PICTURES: Kingston Jamaica State of Emergency

Coke remained at-large amid a third day of gun-battles raging in the Tivoli Gardens section of the capital, Kingston. The government put the death toll in the city at 49, including 44 civilians.

The fighting that has crippled the country's capital and surrounding cities began Sunday when the government of Jamaica declared a state of emergency.

Coke, who has been indicted in the US on drug and weapon trafficking charges, is considered one of the most dangerous drug lords by the U.S. Justice Department.

The United States tried to enlist the help of Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding in order to extradite Coke to New York to face the charges; however, the prime minister refused to acknowledge the first attempt because it's believed that Golding and Coke have a mutually beneficial political relationship, reports The New York Times.

After encountering much animosity abroad and at home, Golding decided he would have to extradite the alleged drug kingpin to face the music, but the impoverished citizens of Jamaica who've relied on him for financial and other forms of support have lashed back against the security and police assault on Coke's stronghold.

PICTURES: Kingston Jamaica State of Emergency

MORE ON CRIMESIDER:May 24, 2010 - Jamaica State of Emergency Over Christopher "Dudus" Coke, Alleged Drug Lord Wanted by U.S.

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