Friday, September 16, 2011
Rockets seized near Matamoros; peaceful Diez y Seis celebration follows protracted firefights
Mexican authorities announced the seizure of a major weapons arsenal Tuesday near Matamoros — including 15 rockets, 57 grenades and 56 rifles.
And despite protracted firefights Thursday, the city’s Mexican Independence Day celebration went ahead as scheduled late Thursday night, apparently without major incident. Several hundred soldiers provided security for the event, which prompted the city’s main plaza to be cordoned off.
The seizure took place Tuesday evening near the Ejido La Sierrita after members of the Mexican military received information that members of organized crime were using an abandoned construction site as a stash house.
The soldiers raided the site and found the explosives and weapons. No arrests were reported.
The seizure included:
>> 15 rockets
>> a rocket launcher
>> three 7 mm rockets
>> three grenade launchers
>> 57 grenades
>> 56 assault rifles, including several AK-47 and AR-15s
>> close to 38,000 ammunition rounds
>> 370 ammunition magazines
>> 50 road spikes
Other items included 11 false license plates and some military uniforms.
Firefights and road blockades were reported through the streets of Matamoros beginning early Thursday morning and continuing sporadically throughout the day, with the most intense fighting taking place about noon, a law enforcement official said.
Clashes were reported near the Sendero Nacional Highway and along the Reynosa-Matamoros highway. Other firefights were reported along Avenida Universidad, near the intersection of Calle Sexta and 16 de Septiembre, and at the Palmares neighborhood. The blockades took place along the city’s main avenues and outside Veterans International Bridge.