New police unit to fight gangs in El Salvador gets ready to hit the streets

Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes says a new anti-gang police unit is ready to hit the streets and begin fighting the Central American country's gangs.

Funes says the team of 302 officers was specially vetted for the job and its members were trained in to gather intelligence. In two months they will receive training from FBI agents.

Funes says they will begin working in a few days but didn't say when exactly.

Funes made the comments Thursday during the officers' graduation ceremony.

A truce between the Mara Salvatrucha and the Mara 18 gangs mediated last month has helped lower homicide rates in the Central American country.

An estimated 20,000 Salvadorans belong to street gangs that deal drugs and extort businesses.