At least seven suspected gunmen were killed in separate shootouts with army troops in Los Aldamas, a city in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, but no soldiers were wounded, the Defense Secretariat said Sunday.
A military patrol spotted a group of armed men who were driving through La Lajilla, a town within the Los Aldamas city limits, on Saturday night.
The gunmen opened fire on the soldiers, who returned fire, killing two of the suspects.
Army troops seized six rifles, several handguns, a 40 mm grenade launcher and five vehicles, including two armored vehicles, after the incident.
Another army patrol sent to reinforce the first unit engaged gunmen in two vehicles a few minutes later.
Five gunmen were killed in the clash and soldiers rescued a hostage being transported in one of the vehicles.
The soldiers seized three vehicles, several rifles and ammunition clips for AR-15 assault rifles, the secretariat said.
Earlier in the weekend as reported here at Borderland Beat at least nine people were killed in a shootout in Tepic, the capital of the northwestern state of Nayarit, Gov. Ney Gonzalez said.
A police officer and a soldier were wounded and taken to a hospital.
“Updating the figures on the operation in Soriana (Plaza Cigarrera): 8 gunmen dead and a police officer dead,” the governor said in a posting on his Facebook page.
A police officer and a soldier were wounded in the shootout, Gonzalez said.
“We all regret the loss of a valiant life, his family will get the life insurance proceeds of 500,000 pesos (about $39,400) and if they do not own their own home, a new one will be provided because he died in the line of duty,” the governor said.
The shootout started Saturday afternoon at the Comercial Cigarrera shopping center when a group of gunmen opened fire on state police, Federal Police officers and army troops in the parking lot, the Meridiano newspaper reported.
The gunfire sent passersby and shoppers running for cover.
The shooting lasted about 10 minutes, eyewitnesses said, adding that the gunmen were armed with assault rifles.
The shopping center was closed for several hours as business owners assessed the extensive damage and cleaned up.
The security forces closed several streets in Tepic as they searched for three gunmen who escaped in a vehicle.
The federal government said Sunday that the massacres registered in the past few days across Mexico were the product of “traditional rivalries” and turf wars between organized crime groups.
“These disputes produce particularly violent homicides and generate affronts that increase the level of violence further,” the Government Secretariat said.
Twenty people were fatally shot in multiple incidents in Ciudad Madero, a town on the Gulf of Mexico in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, officials said Friday.
Six bodies bearing signs of torture were found in the El Chipus neighborhood, about 7 kilometers (4 miles) from Miramar Beach, a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office said.
Four more victims were discovered in the neighborhood of Francisco I. Madero, while three bodies each appeared in Talleres and Hidalgo, the AG’s office spokesman said.
An anonymous telephone tip then led police to four bodies abandoned in the city’s Lucio Blanco neighborhood.
Tamaulipas, bordering Texas, is the stronghold of the Gulf drug cartel, which is currently at war with former allies Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned hitmen.
On another front in Mexico’s drug war, at least 19 people were killed and six others wounded when gunmen attacked a drug treatment center in Chihuahua city, capital of the like-named northern state.
The gunmen arrived around midnight Thursday at the Centro de Rehabilitacion Fe y Vida, state police said.
They entered the center, pulled more than 20 patients outside, lined them up and shot them in the back, a state police spokesman said, citing eyewitness accounts.
The victims may have been linked to the Sinaloa drug cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, and may have been killed by gunmen working for Vicente Carrillo Fuentes’s rival Juarez cartel, unofficial reports said.
The two cartels have been fighting for control of drug trafficking in Chihuahua’s biggest city, Ciudad Juarez.
Press reports say the Sinaloa organization, Mexico’s oldest and largest drug cartel, has effectively taken control of Juarez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas.