Eight gunmen were killed Friday in a running battle with army troops in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico’s defense department said.
The incident began around 1:00 a.m. in Cadereyta, east-southeast of Monterrey, when “suspicious individuals” traveling in several vehicles fled as soldiers tried to stop and question them.
Troops pursued the suspects to the town of Guadalupe, where the occupants of the vehicles opened fire on the soldiers, who shot back, killing five of the gunmen.
After the shooting stopped, the soldiers seized three vehicles, eight rifles, a grenade-launcher and ammunition, the defense department said.
But a least a dozen suspects managed to escape in other vehicles.
The troops caught up with one of the vehicles in the neighboring municipality of Juarez, sparking a second clash that left three additional gunmen dead.
Nuevo Leon, whose capital, Monterrey, is Mexico’s wealthiest city and industrial hub, has been wracked for a year by a vicious turf battle between the Los Zetas and Gulf drug cartels.