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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Gun battles between rival gangs have killed 18 people in a north-eastern Mexican town

10:42 |

Gun battles between rival gangs have killed 18 people in a north-eastern Mexican town, a day after seven police officers and an inmate died in an ambush of a convoy transporting prisoners in the west of the country.

The fighting in Abasolo erupted on Monday morning and left at least 18 people dead, according to the Tamaulipas state government. The shooting came a month after a further 18 people died in the nearby town of Padilla, several of them innocent bystanders.

Tamaulipas has been wracked by a turf war between the Zetas and Gulf cartels, and information on violence in some of the smaller towns is notoriously scarce. Often official confirmation does not come for hours or days, leaving residents to cower in their homes and communicate through social media.

Tamaulipas residents sent Twitter messages about Monday's shootings hours before the government confirmed the bloodshed. Tweets warned people to stay indoors while others demanded official information. Under constant threat from drug gangs, the Tamaulipas state media often ignore drug-gang violence completely.

In north-western Sinaloa state, meanwhile, gunmen swarmed a convoy transporting two prisoners, shredding three police vehicles with bullets and killing seven officers and one inmate, according to the Sinaloa state attorney general, Marco Antonio Higuera. Six officers and the second inmate were wounded.

Attackers travelling in about 20 vehicles caught the police convoy in a crossfire on Sunday near the city of Guasave.:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder

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