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Narco Blog: 13 Die in Mexico Nuevo Loredo Shootout
Photo: Nuevo Laredo Shootout Narco Blog
Thirteen suspected gang members were killed in a shootout with Mexican soldiers and police in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, military spokespersons said.
Mexican media had reported since early Thursday afternoon on a raging gun battle in that city, located across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, as well as the mounting of blockades in some areas.
Military officials, for their part, told Efe by phone that 13 suspected members of criminal gangs were killed in the shootout, adding that no lives were lost among the security forces .
They did not say if any arrests were made in the operation.
The Defense Secretariat later confirmed in a statement that 13 suspected criminals were killed, while three soldiers wounded in the clash had been taken to a medical facility for treatment.
Thursday’s shootout occurred on a road in Nuevo Laredo, where the troops came under attack while following up on a tip as part of their efforts to strike a blow to the “command structure” of organized crime groups in Tamaulipas state.
The statement added that the group of aggressors riding on board different vehicles carried out two more attacks on the military personnel “with unsuccessful results.”
Following the clashes, the armed forces seized 12 automatic rifles, a rocket launcher with projectile and a grenade launcher, a grenade, ammunition clips, ammunition and three vehicles.
The bodies of the gunmen, their weapons and vehicle were turned over to the relevant authorities.
The army is carrying out “Operation Northeast” in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi states in an effort to weaken the drug cartels that operate in the region.
The Gulf drug cartel has been waging a war in northeastern Mexico against Los \Zetas, a band of army special forces deserters turned hired guns and drug traffickers.
Elsewhere, a group of armed assailants killed six young people on a road in Texcoco, a city 60 kilometers (35 miles) from the Mexican capital, police told Efe Thursday.
Several gunmen stepped out of an SUV and fired at the victims, all of whom were between the ages of 20 and 30.
Another eight people died Wednesday during a Mexican Federal Police operation in Villa de Cos, a city in the north-central state of Zacatecas, prosecutors said.
The coroner’s office picked up the bodies of five males and three females at the scene of the shootout, the Zacatecas Attorney General’s Office said.
The dead, all of whom are suspected of being criminals, have not been identified, the AG’s office said.
Two Federal Police officers wounded in the incident are listed in stable condition at a hospital.
Federal Police officers were attacked while on patrol in Chaparrosa, a community in Villa Cos, triggering the shootout, the AG’s office said.
The eight suspected criminals all died in the shootout, the AG’s office said.
The government said earlier this year that 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence between January and September 2011 in Mexico, an increase of 11 percent from the same period in the prior year.
Mexico’s drug war death toll stood at 47,515 from December 2006 to Sept. 30.
The murder total has grown every year of President Felipe Calderon’s military offensive against the well-funded, heavily armed drug cartels.
Unofficial tallies published in December by independent daily La Jornada put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000.