9 die in shootout in Mexico

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mexico City, Feb 11 (IANS/EFE) Eight gunmen and one soldier died in a shootout in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, authorities said.

Two other soldiers were wounded in the clash, which broke out Wednesday when army troops were fired on while responding to a tip about the presence of armed men in the town of Tabasco.

After the battle, troops seized six assault rifles, 548 rounds of ammunition, three two-way radios and two bullet-proof vests, the defense department said in a statement Thursday.

Separately, authorities in the northern state of Sonora announced the arrest of four heavily armed men who admitted to carrying out killings on behalf of organised crime.

The suspects were detained in Ciudad Obregon as they were traveling in an SUV reported stolen in June 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, the Sonora Attorney General’s Office said.

Found inside the vehicle were four assault rifles, 534 rounds of ammunition, bullet-proof vests and radio-telephones, the state AG’s office said.

More than 34,000 people have died in Mexico over the past four years amid a war pitting rival drug cartels against each other and the security forces.


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