World

El Salvador records 125 homicides in just 3 days; officials link wave of violence to gangs

FILE - In this May 26, 2015 file photo, a forensic worker closes a morgue refrigerator door after placing a suspected gang member's body inside at the Institute of Legal Medicine in San Salvador, El Salvador. Authorities said on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 that at least 125 people have been killed in the last three days as a wave of violence continues to plague the Central American nation. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File)

FILE - In this May 26, 2015 file photo, a forensic worker closes a morgue refrigerator door after placing a suspected gang member's body inside at the Institute of Legal Medicine in San Salvador, El Salvador. Authorities said on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 that at least 125 people have been killed in the last three days as a wave of violence continues to plague the Central American nation. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.