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Gunman shoots dead minister of environment at meeting

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The Dominican Republic’s Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera was shot dead on Monday by a gunman who burst into a weekly meeting at the ministry and opened fire, the government said.

“The information we have at the moment indicates that this (Monday) morning the environment minister lost his life after he was attacked with a firearm in his office,” said Homero Figueroa, the spokesman for the presidency.

“Miguel Cruz, who has been identified as the shooter, was a personal friend of the dead minister.”

Figueroa said Cruz was in police custody and that the reason for the murder was “under investigation.”

Cruz had gained access to a secure area through his friendship with Jorge Mera, ministry sources told AFP.

Jorge Mera, who was the son of former president Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982-86), was holding a regular meeting with his deputy ministers when he was shot.

AFP reporters at the scene had seen a heavily armed elite police unit enter the ministry.

Local press had claimed Cruz was barricaded inside with hostages.

The environment ministry said on Twitter it was “dismayed by the situation that took place this Monday morning, right now we do not have any details.”


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