Small blast reported outside U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas -- An improvised explosive device went off outside the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo in northern Mexico on late Friday, U.S. officials said. No injuries or major damage was reported.
"At approximately 11 pm the night of April 9, an explosive device was thrown over the fence of the U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo. There were no injuries, but windows were damaged," the Consulate said in an statement.
The Consulate General and the Consular Agency in Piedras Negras will be closed until further notice, the Consulate said. "The Consulate General and Consular Agency will reopen when we are confident that we have adequate security to keep our visitors safe."
Mexican federal prosecutors in the capital said they were reviewing evidence from the scene, including video feeds from security cameras at the consulate.
Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande River from Laredo, Texas, and other cities have seen increased violence in recent weeks as powerful Mexican drug cartels battle over control of lucrative trafficking along the border.
This is not the first time than a U.S. Consulate en Mexico is attacked amid rising drug violence. On October 12, 2008, gunmen hurled a grenade at the U.S. consulate in Monterrey. On March 13, 2010 two U.S.
U.S. State Department employees in the area had not been victimized until last month. That's when gunmen separately chased down and killed an American woman who worked at the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez along with her husband in their SUV and another man married to a Mexican consulate worker in a similar vehicle. All three had been at the same party.
Nuevo Laredo and the surrounding state of Tamaulipas have seen a surge in drug-related violence since the start of the year as the Gulf cartel fights its former armed wing, the Zetas, for smuggling routes into the United States.
The violence is scaring off tourists and worries Washington, which is giving anti-drug aid, equipment and police training to Mexico. Some investors have frozen investment in factories in cities on the U.S. border, especially in Ciudad Juarez, the most deadly spot in the drug war.
Gun battle near Ciudad Mier leaves one dead
Guerrero, Tamaulipas — In another incident we got information that a confrontation broke out Saturday afternoon between groups of gunmen along a desolate stretch of highway between Nueva Ciudad Guerrero and Ciudad Mier, across the border from western Starr County.
One person not affiliated with the groups was killed in the fighting, according to a news alert from the Tamaulipas government. It was not clear whether that person was a civilian or a member of the military or law enforcement, although the news alert made no mention of authorities being involved in the battle.
Authorities investigating the incident found three vehicles damaged by gunfire in the vicinity.