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5 officers gunned down in Mexico

October 10, 2008|From the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Five state police officers were killed in the western Mexican state of Jalisco by men who lobbed grenades and fired more than 800 bullets, officials said Thursday.

The officers came under fire Wednesday night as they prepared to search a car they had just stopped in the town of Lagos de Moreno outside the city of Guadalajara, the Jalisco state public safety department said in a statement.

The assailants arrived in two pickup trucks. Two bystanders were wounded, the department said.

State Public Safety Secretary Luis Carlos Najera said authorities suspected the Zetas, a group of hit men tied to the Gulf cartel. The Zetas have a history of violence against Jalisco police, he said.

Meanwhile in Ciudad Juarez, across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas, two state police officers were shot to death by men in another car along a busy avenue, said Alejandro Pariente, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutor.

Hours after the attack Wednesday, a wreath was left outside the police headquarters in Ciudad Juarez, Pariente said. It was accompanied by a threatening message and the name of the two slain officers and other policemen.

No suspects were named.

Police increasingly have come under attack from drug cartels fighting a nationwide crackdown. In Ciudad Juarez, several officers were gunned down after they were named in hit lists.

Across Mexico this year, more than 3,000 people have been killed in violence blamed on the drug trade.

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