Cocaine Seizure, Murder Surge in US Caribbean

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Authorities seized more than half a ton of cocaine from a house on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas, while Puerto Rico authorities reported a surge in murders related to drug trafficking.

The haul, worth $16 million, is part of 2.25 tons of cocaine seized in the Virgin Islands and the neighboring territory of Puerto Rico in the last six weeks, reports the Associated Press.

No arrests were made in the operation.

CNN reported that the number of murders in Puerto Rico has risen sharply, with 16 percent more homicides so far in 2011 than in the same period last year. Law enforcement attributed this to conflict between drug gangs.

The U.S. territories in the Caribbean are a key transit point for shipping drugs from South America into the U.S. mainland.

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