Authorities in El Salvador have increased their vigilance in an effort to protect their own against gang attacks.

Vice President Oscar Ortiz says the government has decided to raise the alert level for all 23,000 police officers and soldiers. Members of each group have been targeted, most often while on leave. A national police officer and a soldier were killed in separate incidents Tuesday.

So far this year, 39 police officers, 19 soldiers and a prison guard have been killed. Last year, gangs killed 62 police, 17 soldiers and six prison guards.

Ortiz says security forces are paying a high price in their fight against the El Salvador's powerful gangs, but the government will continue the fight.