Five drug cartel gunmen were killed as civilian militias fighting the Knights Templar cartel in western Mexico engaged in a shootout with them on the outskirts of one of the cartel’s last strongholds.
The shootings come as the federal government announces the beginning of the “demobilization” of the civilian militia “self-defense” movement, which rose up a year ago to fight the cartel’s extortion demands.
Michoacan state officials report that the five dead gunmen belonged to an imposter militia that had been financed by the drug cartel to stop the advance of the true civilian militias.
Federal police officers said the shootings occurred on the outskirts of the seaport of Lazaro Cardenas, as the militia forces tried to push further into the city.
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