Some 1,000 soldiers and 100 police officers are participating in an operation that is part of Phase 5 of the Territorial Control Plan, which aims to "extract" criminals from urban communities, as reported by local outlet La Pancarta.
"After surrounding Tutunichapa, a famous drug distribution center, we knew that many drug traffickers would go to supply supplies to the La Granjita community, another famous distribution center. What they did not expect is that we would surround La Granjita, once they were inside," Bukele tweeted on Saturday.
"There has not been a single death in confrontations, within any of the encirclements. No military operation in the world has been so clean... And with incredible results," he added.
Vanochtend vroeg is de gemeenschap van Tutunichapa in El Salvador omsingeld. Meer dan 1000 soldaten en 130 politie agenten zullen de criminelen oppakken die hier verblijven,en beroemd zijn vanwege hun drugshandel... pic.twitter.com/fGUeHCvv2o
The tweet shows images of the fence that the Salvadoran soldiers and police made around the Tutunichapa neighborhood.
Security Minister Gustavo Villatoro indicated that 23 people have been arrested, who would be accused of drug possession "for trafficking purposes" and illegal grouping.
"This community has been stigmatized for more than 40 years by criminals who have dedicated themselves to distributing and selling drugs," he said.
Defense Minister Rene Merino said that the operation "hit" Barrio 18 Revolucionarios, a gang with a presence in the area. At the beginning of December, Bukele also surrounded the municipality of Soyapango with some 10,000 soldiers and police.
These measures take place within the framework of an emergency regime, which has been renewed since the end of March and has left more than 60,000 detainees.