14 Cartel Gunmen and 1 Mexican Soldier Killed in Shootout in Guerrero
A soldier was among 15 people killed in southern Mexico on Tuesday in a shootout between the military and suspected members of organized crime, authorities said.
The gunbattle took place in Tepochica in Guerrero state, security spokesman Roberto Alvarez Heredia said in a statement on Facebook.
A day earlier, 13 police officers were killed in an ambush by suspected members of a drug cartel in Aguililla, about 310 miles west of Tepochica. Initially, 14 soldiers were said to have died but the figure was later revised.
Alvarez Heredia said that the latest confrontation began after authorities received a call alerting them about the presence of armed people in Tepochica.
“Armed civilians initiated an assault on elements of the National Defence Secretariat, resulting in the death of a soldier and of 14 armed civilians,” he said in the statement.
Authorities later seized “high-powered weapons” as well as three vehicles that had been reported stolen.
In the municipality of Iguala, where the firefight took place, a turf war is raging between several criminal organizations. The area is part of a major corridor for the trafficking of heroin and marijuana.
In Iguala, 43 students disappeared five years ago after police handed them over to the Guerreros Unidos crime syndicate, which mistook them for members of a rival gang, killed them and burned their bodies.
There were nearly 36,000 murders in Mexico last year, with the high rate of violence in large part down to gangs.
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