Thursday, July 7, 2011
Matamoros shootouts, blockades paralyze highway to Playa Bagdad
by Sergio Chapa
A hot summer day with tourists on the way to the beaches of Playa Bagdad was interrupted by gunfire and blockades.
Authorities in Matamoros have confirmed reports of a shootout on the highway to Playa Bagdad Thursday afternoon.
It all started early Thursday afternoon and continued through Thursday evening.
Matamoros residents used Twitter and YouTube to post photos and videos of blockades and soldiers rushing to the area.
Several residents reported a military helicopter in the sky.
The heaviest reports of gunfire reportedly took place along Kilometer 25 along the highway.
Ambulances were called to the scene around 3:49 p.m. but it's not clear if there are wounded or casualties as of Thursday evening.
The gunfire and blockades took place southeast of the Veterans International Bridge in a zone populated by factories.
Update: Grupo Reforma:
Unofficial sources reported that the gunfire occurred at about 3:30 p.m. at Kilometer 23 on the highway to Bagdad Beach, when a military patrol ran across a convoy of SUVs, presumably with armed men aboard.
Two men who looked to be 20 to 30 years old were killed and five other people were wounded and detained, the sources said.
Authorities have not said whether any soldiers were injured.
Roadblocks were reported in the area of the attack, and also on Avenida Lauro Villar, Avenida Pedro Cárdenas and the highway to Reynosa.
Photos: Twitter @fatboy3005