Authorities in El Salvador say at least 125 people have been slain in the last three days as a wave of violence continues to plague the Central American nation.

National Police deputy director Howard Cotto reports that 40 people were killed on Sunday, 42 on Monday and 43 on Tuesday.

Justice and Public Security Minister Benito Lara said El Salvador is confronting a "complicated situation." He said Wednesday that an anti-crime crackdown has led gangs to ramp up violence, with many killings related to internal purges or turf wars with rivals.

Authorities say gangs are trying to pressure the government into negotiating a truce like a previous one in 2012, when homicide rates fell notably.