Mexican drug gangs implicated in Tampico shoot-out
Tampico, Tamaulipas - There has been a drug-related shoot-out between rival gangs in the Mexican city of Tampico, a Mexican Gulf coast city.
Seven people were left dead in the battle, with five men and two women killed during the course of a nightclub fight.
Members of the Gulf cartel and the Zetas drug gang are believed to have been involved.
Also in Tampico, rumours of gunfire prompted people to flee a street fair which had been filled with thousands of people.
While it has not been established whether gunfire was actually heard, people fled in panic for fear of being caught up in Mexico's brutal drug-gang violence.
Tampico is in the state of Tamaulipas, which straddles Texas in the north and the Gulf of Mexico farther south.
Nightclub shooting kills 7 in Mexican Gulf state
A shootout between rival gangs at a nightclub left seven people dead in a Mexican Gulf coast city besieged by drug-related battles, while rumors of gunfire prompted people to flee a street fair where singer Jenni Rivera had been about to perform.
Five men and two women were killed late Friday in the shootout between rival gangs at the nightclub in Tampico, the state government of Tamaulipas said on its Web site.
It gave no other details, and nobody was available for comment Saturday at the offices of the Tamaulipas state Public Safety Department or the prosecutors' offices.
Police commander killed in Tampico
Authorities are reporting a police commander has been killed in attacks against state and local law enforcement officials in Tampico.
The Tamaulipas Department of Public Safety (SSP) reported that the deadly attacks took place early Thursday morning.
The SSP reported armed attacks against Tampico patrol and traffic officers.
State police were not spared the violence.
The SSP reported that one of its agency's commanders was killed during an attack near the El Moralillo bridge on the highway to Panuco.
Authorities said one of the commader's men and and innocent bystander were wounded in the incident.
The SSP did not release the names of the commander or those wounded in the attack.
Authorities did not report any arrests but said the attacks remain under investigation by state officials.
Tampico is a port city along the Gulf of Mexico about six hours south of Matamoros.
Shooting in Concert
Also Friday evening, thousands of people fled a fair in Tampico amid reports of a shooting just as Mexican star Jenni Rivera was about to perform, the daily newspaper Reforma reported. Reforma said security forces evacuated the crowd.
It was unclear if a shooting actually occurred.
On her Twitter page, Rivera said the crowd began fleeing three seconds before she got on stage. She said she didn't hear gunfire but "saw many people running."
"My security ... shouted at me not to go up and they pulled me and covered me," Rivera wrote. "Everyone on my team is OK."
Rivera said 18,000 people had shown up to hear her sing. Her publicist did not return telephone and e-mail requests for comment.
Mexico's brutal drug-gang violence has spread recently to Tamaulipas, a state that straddles Texas in the north and the Gulf of Mexico farther south. Authorities blame much of the violence on a bitter split between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas drug gang.
At least 15 people were killed throughout the state Friday, capping a bloody week in which cartels attacked military positions and threw up roadblocks around army garrisons.
Five gunmen died early Friday in the latest shootout with soldiers in Reynosa, a Tamaulipas city across the border from McAllen, Texas.
On Friday night, armed men stormed a prison in Reynosa and killed three inmates, the state government said on its Web site. The gunmen arrived in 10 cars and exchanged gunfire with prison guards, the statement said.
The government said order has been restored at the prison but gave no other details.
Security at many Mexican prisons is notoriously poor. On occasion, drug gangs have easily entered prisons to free allies, either because guards are too frightened to put up a fight or because they have been paid off.
The governments officials have cancelled the Tampico fair due to violence.
Chicas Tecate Playaso Tampico 2010