An explosive blasted Mexican federal police and rescuers when it detonated as they went to the aid of a wounded police officer in Juárez on Thursday night.
Authorities said it had not been determined if the blast was caused by a grenade or a car bomb, but the attack appeared to follow the tactics of terrorists in the Middle East.
It was unclear how many were injured, but it appeared that at least one federal and one city police were killed.
The attack occurred about 7:30 p.m. near the intersection of Bolivia and 16 de Septiembre streets in downtown Juárez. First, a municipal police officer was shot and killed, and when federal police arrived to the scene there was an explosion, an official said.
Seven people were injured, including a cameraman for Channel 5.
Footage from Channel 26-KINT (cable Channel 2) showed a street covered in debris. Something appeared to be in flames. A uniformed police officer lay dead and a man sat on the street bleeding heavily and holding his head.
The use of explosives, including the possibility of a car bomb, would be an escalation in a drug war that has bloodied Juárez for more than two years. The use of car bombs by narco-traffickers is not unprecedented since they had been used in Colombia by drug cartels in that nation.
Federal police earlier this year replaced Mexican army soldiers patrolling the city. Patrols are regularly done in groups of at least two vehicles, with several officers in each armed with assault rifles.
Bomb is believed to be retaliation in responde to the arrest of sicario leader.
It is believed that the recent attack is in response to the arrest of a leader of "La Línea." The Federal Public Security Secretariat reported that elements of the Federal Police arrested Jesus Armando Acosta Guerrero, alias "35" operational leader of the criminal group called "La Línea", the armed wing of the Juarez cartel. Intelligence reports indicate that Armando Acosta was conducting drug trafficking, executions, "levantones" abductions and various criminal activities within the organization.
Sources in the investigation suggest that Armando Acosta, alias "35", received direct orders from José Antonio Acosta Hernandez, alias "El Diego", second in the structure of "la línea" and under the direct command of Juan Pablo Ledesma, aka “el jl,” lieutenant of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes.
It has been noted that Jesús Ernesto Chávez Castillos, alias "camello", was arrested by federal police last July 2, it is said that the drug that was distributed by his cell was provided by Jesus Armando Acosta Guerrero, aka "35."
In reaction to the arrest of Chavez Castillo intelligence reports indicate that suspected members of the organization of "la línea", carried this attack against elements of the federal police.
Law enforcement officers have been increasingly targeted in Juárez. It was the second deadly attack on police on Thursday.
In the morning, an off-duty Juárez police officer was shot to death at a gas station, Chihuahua state police said.
Luis Javier Ramirez Corral, who was driving a Lincoln Towncar, pulled up to get gas when he was fired upon by a group of gunmen with AK-47s and other weapons, officials said. The shooters fired 46 rounds.
There were eight homicides Wednesday in Juárez. More than 1,500 people have been slain in Juárez this year, and more than 5,700 people have died since 2008.
The Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels have been fighting over lucrative smuggling corridors into the United States. It is not uncommon for drug traffickers to target police claiming they are working for rival groups.
El Paso Times