At least 5 dead after drug-related clashes in northern Mexico

October 15th, 2010 - 11:41 pm ICT by BNO News  

MONTERREY, MEXICO (BNO NEWS) — At least five people were killed and three others were wounded during deadly clashes between Mexican Marines and drug gangs in the northern region of Mexico.

An initial police report said that on Thursday at around 7 p.m. local time, the gunmen and Marines clashed in Monterrey - Mexico’s third largest city - as the Governor of Nuevo Leon, Rodrigo Medina, was giving his first Government Report.

“During the confrontations, people from the organized crime groups lost their lives and one or more of them were detained by the Marines. We also understand, although its unofficial, that there are wounded Marines and possibly a fatality as it was a high-caliber confrontation,” Luis Carlos TreviƱo Berchelmann, the State’s Secretary of Public Security, said.

Three men were killed at the scene and relief agencies arriving at the scene initially reported an 18-year-old woman who was seriously wounded, as well as two marines. While the numbers of fatalities are conflicting, at least five fatalities were confirmed.

Security forces had surprised the drug traffickers who immediately reacted by throwing a grenade against the Marines. After both sides opened fire, the gunmen tried to escape through a back alley, but their vehicle was disabled with a bazooka.

While military forces were called in to provide assistance after the confrontation, a total of 12 street blockades were reported on major avenues of Monterrey. Drug gang blockades, in which drug lords order the blocking of streets to avoid the deployment of security forces who are conducting operations against them, are not uncommonly reported.

As a result, about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the scene, another shootout between Marines and gunmen began. Security forces were able to arrest two individuals, but there were no immediate reports of casualties from that incident.

The incidents are currently being investigated, and it is still unclear if the gunmen involved in the second shootout are linked to the people involved in the initial confrontation.

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