Three Mexican cops killed, 18 wounded by drug gangs
Three Mexican federal police officers were killed and 18 were wounded in attacks attributed to the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel on at least six different cities, police said.world Updated: Jul 12, 2009 08:33 IST
Three Mexican federal police officers were killed and 18 were wounded on Saturday in attacks attributed to the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel on at least six different cities, police said.
The onslaught on six federal police (PFP) bases in the western state of Michoacan was seen as retribution for the arrest on Friday of top La Familia member Arnoldo Rueda.
After the arrest, gunmen "tried to rescue him and clashes began, in which 18 PFP members were wounded," PFP regional chief Rodolfo Ruz told reporters.
The three officers who died, Cruz said, were not on base but in a vehicle close to a car crash on a road when they were attacked by an armed group traveling in a separate vehicle.
The attacks took place in the state capital, Morelia, and in the cities of Apatzingan, Lazaro Cardenas, Patzcuaro, Zitacuaro and Huetamo, while shots were also fired at two PFP locations in the neighboring southern state of Guerrero.
Michoacan state has seen clashes between local drug cartels, including La Familia, that have ties with other drug trafficking groups in northern Mexico, close to the US border.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed 36,000 troops and policemen in a bid to stem the drug violence, blamed for over 7,700 deaths in the country since 2008.