At least 27 people were killed Thursday in a clash between members of the Mexican Army and an armed group that occurred in the state of Nuevo León, several miles from the Texas border
According to preliminary reports, no bodies have been identified, and it is alledged that the dead gunmen belonged to the Los Zetas criminal organization.
Three soldiers were reported injured in the clash and an undertermined number of kidnap victims were freed. More than 25 weapons and multiple grenades and 23 vehicles were reported seized.
The clash took place several miles east of the town of General Treviño, on the road that connects this town with Ciudad Mier, in an area near the border with the state of Tamaulipas, the sources added. There was some confusion among news sources on whether the battle occurred in Nuevo Leon or Tamaulipas
Mexican media sources reported that military forces carrying out aerial reconnaissance flights in that area noticed the presence of several armed men outside a building, who immediately tried to flee aboard several vehicles.
A detachment of soldiers on patrol came under fire as they approached the area and intercepted the gunmen, prompting a sharp response by the troops.
Many of the dead gunmen wore military style uniforms and bullet-proof vests. According to military sources the area where the battle occurred was a Los Zetas training camp and hideout.
Authorities in the municipality of General Treviño requested assistance from the State of Nuevo Leon Forensic Medical Service (SEMEFO) for the removal of bodies, while prosecutors from the State Attorney General’s office and State Ministerial Police agents arrived to take custody of the crime scene.
The battle occurred shortly before midday and the number of dead gunmen was confirmed at 4:00 PM by SEMEFO personnel.
This area of northern Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, known as the Frontera Chica, has been the scene of bloody rural guerrilla conflict with almost daily battles between Los Zetas and the Cartel del Golfo since both groups split in February of this year.
It has been depopulated by as much as 70% due to the lawlessness, and any municipal police forces that existed have been largely abandoned, many of the officers arrested for collusion with organized crime.
Last week 8 gunmen were found dead of gunshot wounds in the hamlet of Los Guerra in the outskirts of Ciudad Mier after a firefight between both rival cartels.