UPDATED: According to an El Universal news update, unidentified sources with the Tamaulipas state Procuraduria General del Estado office said that explosions never took place. However, a news account published on the website of Vanguardia news daily said gunfire as well as explosions were heard in the area. That account can be seen here. The official news release by the US Consulate can be found here. The tweet from the US Consulate in Nuevo Laredo linking to the announcement can be seen here.
By Chris Covert
A shootout between armed drug gangs took place last Thursday evening near the US Consulate in Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas, according to Mexican news accounts.
A news account published on the website of La Tarde news daily said the gunfight took place near the intersection of Paseo Colon and Calle Allende at around 1920 hrs. No one was reported hurt in the incident.
The US Consulate is located near the intersection of calles Allende and Nayarit.
According to press reports, armed suspects from rivalling gangs shot at each other near the US Consulate. Included in the exchanges of gunfire were the detonation of three hand grenades.
Reports say that intervention by Mexican security forces including Mexican Army and Policia Federal troops forced the armed groups to flee the scene. No detentions were reported in the aftermath.
Nuevo Laredo was the scene of a mass execution where four individuals were shot to death last Monday. Three of the victims were identified as US citizens. Unconfirmed reports in the area said that another five unidentified individuals were shot and killed as well.
Last February 1st, seven armed suspects were killed in an encounter with a Mexican Army road patrol near Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state.
Nuevo Laredo has been the focal point if an intense and bloody competition between the Los Zetas and Gulf Cartels. Nuevo Laredo has been known to be in the past Los Zetas territory until last summer, when several grisly incidents signalled that competition for control of the US border crossing was beginning.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com