Mexican security forces killed 10 suspected drug cartel gunmen in clashes in the western state of Jalisco and the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, authorities said.
In the incident in Jalisco, police killed six gunmen in a shootout near that state’s border with Zacatecas, the Jalisco Public Safety Secretariat said in a statement Wednesday.
The clash occurred when members of the Jalisco state police force came under gunfire from at least 15 suspected members of the Los Zetas mob – a band of army special forces deserters turned hired guns and drug traffickers – while patrolling the Huitzila-Milpillas highway.
No state police officers were killed or wounded in the fighting, the statement said, adding that the security forces confiscated 10 firearms and armored vehicles.
The Los Zetas drug cartel is fighting a turf battle in Jalisco against the Sinaloa crime syndicate, which is headed by Mexico’s most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, and operates in that state via an ally, the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel.
Elsewhere, four suspected cartel killers-for-hire were slain in a shootout with army soldiers in the northeastern town of Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas state, the Defense Secretariat said Wednesday.
The soldiers, deployed to the area as part of a federal anti-drug strategy known as “Operation Northeast,” came under attack Tuesday by a group of armed individuals, the office of the commander of the 4th Military Region said.
The troops killed “four aggressors” in the clash and arrested 18 others, including four women, according to the secretariat, which said the soldiers also seized almost 50 automatic rifles, nearly 300 ammunition clips and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
The detainees, confiscated items and the bodies of the slain gunslingers were turned over the relevant authorities, the secretariat said.
The army is carrying out “Operation Northeast” in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi states in an effort to weaken the drug cartels that operate in the region.