By Sergio Chapa
Mexican authorities broke their silence and released new details about a massive shootout and manhunt that put the Los Indios International Bridge on alert.
The deadly shootout left three gunmen dead and three others behind bars late Wednesday morning.
Mexican authorities confirmed the incident but released no information about the incident until Thursday night.
Mexico's Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) reported that it all took place in a rural area outside Matamoros on Wednesday.
SEDENA officials reported that a military helicopter was patrolling the area when soldiers spotted a convoy of 17 trucks and SUVs on a dirt road.
Members of the convoy allegedly opened fire on the helicopter prompted the pilot to call for backup.
Soldiers arrived in area but where also greeted by gunfire.
SEDENA officials reported that vehicles from the convoy scattered in an escape attempt.
More soldiers arrived at the scene where different military patrols split up to search for the gunmen and their vehicles.
Action 4 News learned that the firefights and searches took place just southeast of the Los Indios International Bridge in and around rural communities such as Control, Estacion Ramirez and Lucio Blanco.
SEDENA officials reported that only three gunmen were killed and that three were arrested in the incident.
Identifies of those killed and arrested were not immediately available but authorities reported seizing the following items:
• 83 assault rifles
• 18 handguns
• 5 grenade launchers
• 1 rocket launcher
• 11 fragmentation grenade
• 28 grenades
• 315 ammunition clips
• 18,274 bullets
• 17 vehicles
• 17.6 pounds of cocaine
• 0.76 ounces of marijuana
The other gunmen remain at large while the case remains under investigation.
The incident prompted customs officials to temporarily divert traffic from the Los Indios bridge for about two hours early Wednesday afternoon.