San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Armed assailants rob 30 children returning home from school

In a brazen broad-daylight attack Wednesday afternoon in south San José, three armed gunmen boarded a school bus loaded with 30 children aged 7-15, threatened the driver and robbed the young passengers as they returned home from classes, local TV news station Telenoticias reported.

The attack occurred in the Hatillo 8 district of the capital, an area that neighbors say has become overrun with criminals.

“Hatillo 8 is no man’s land. At night you hear gunfire, assaults, car thefts; it’s an unsafe neighborhood,” local resident Mauricio Campos told Telenoticias. “I’ve lived here for 34 years; I grew up in this neighborhood, and it’s sad to say, but it has been taken over by criminals.”

No one was injured in the attack, which left the students “terrified,” according to the bus driver, who did not give his name.

The suspects, believed to be members of a local criminal gang, fled in a white Hyundai, according to a police officer interviewed by the news channel.

Police are investigating.

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