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Latino Daily News

Monday June 30, 2014

22 Gunmen Killed in Clash with Mexican Federal Troops

Twenty-two gunmen were killed early Monday in a battle with security forces in central Mexico, authorities said.

The clash took place in Tlatlaya, a municipality in the southern part of Mexico state.

One of the military personnel was wounded in the clash, sources in the Mexico state Public Safety Office said.

The troops were on patrol when the attackers started shooting from positions alongside the road, the sources said, adding that security forces seized 24 rifles and 11 handguns following the battle.

Tlatlaya lies in the Tierra Caliente region, which straddles the states of Guerrero, Michoacan and Mexico.

The Tierra Caliente is the bastion of the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar), a drug-trafficking organization that also engages in extortion and kidnapping.

Weary of being terrorized by the Templarios, communities in the Michoacan portion of the Tierra Caliente some 18 months ago formed armed self-defense groups to confront the gang.

The federal government launched a major police and military operation in Michoacan in January with the aim of smashing the cartel and bringing the community militias under control.

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