Mexico Gunbattle Near Texas Border Between Suspected Cartel Members & Police

At least 21 dead

By Travis Fedschun | Fox News

Four police officers were among nearly two dozen people killed after security forces engaged in an hour-long gunbattle with suspected cartel members Saturday in a Mexican town near the U.S. border, days after President Trump said he was moving to designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations.

The shootout happened around noon in the small town of Villa Union, a town in Coahuila state located about an hour’s drive southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas.

Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told local media that four of the dead were police officers killed in the initial confrontation and that several municipal workers were missing. On Sunday, the Coahuila state government said that security forces killed seven additional members of the gang, bringing the death toll to at least 21.

The armed group of suspected cartel members stormed the town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks, attacking local government offices and prompting state and federal forces to intervene. Ten alleged members of the Cartel of the Northeast were initially killed in the response.

Riquelme told reporters that police had identified 14 vehicles involved in the attack and seized more than a dozen guns. Three of the suspected gunmen were killed by security forces in the initial pursuit of the gang members as they fled into rugged terrain, according to Reuters.

In the wake of the assault, the governor said that security forces will remain in the town for several days to restore a sense of calm. The town is about 12 miles from the site of a 2011 cartel massacre where officials say 70 died.

“These groups won’t be allowed to enter state territory,” the government of Coahuila said in a statement.

Mexico’s murder rate has increased to historically high levels, inching up by 2 percent in the first 10 months of the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Federal officials said recently that there have been 29,414 homicides so far in 2019 – up from 28,869 over the same period last year.

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