Soldier killed in ambush on military patrol in northern Mexican border city

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mexican soldier killed in ambush on army patrol

MEXICO CITY — Gunmen ambushed army troops inspecting flood-risk zones in a northern Mexican border city, killing one soldier and wounding another, authorities said Thursday.

Three gunmen in a car opened fire on the military patrol Wednesday in Piedras Negras, a city across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, the Defense Department said in a statement. The soldiers had been inspecting neighborhoods to prepare for floods after several days of heavy rains.

One soldier was killed and another was wounded in ensuing battle.

Officials said soldiers arrested the gunmen and seized 12 guns, including 10 assault rifles, ammunition and bulletproof vests from the assailants — an arsenal typical of Mexico’s brutal drug cartels.

The statement did not say if the gunmen were affiliated with any particular gang.

Soldiers have increasingly come under attack in northeastern Mexico, where the Gulf cartel is battling its former ally, the Zetas gang of hit men.

Mexican and U.S. officials said the Gulf cartel has aligned itself with the Sinaloa and La Familia gangs to wipe out the Zetas in the region.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department said a member of the Arturo Beltran Leyva cartel was killed in a separate battle with soldiers Wednesday in the northern city of Monterrey.

The agency identified the man as Sergio Adrian Martinez, a former state police officer who was allegedly the leader of the Beltran Leyva cartel in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a wealthy suburb of Monterrey.

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