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January 11, 2008
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2 Federal agents fatally shot in Central Mexico

By The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Gunmen shot dead two federal agents and a civilian Thursday in the central state of Michoacan, prosecutors said, the latest in a series of deadly shootings involving police and soldiers in Mexico.

The agents were traveling on a road in the Michoacan town of La Paloma when they were intercepted and shot, said Magdalena Guzman, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office.

A civilian whose has yet to be identified was also killed in the attack, Guzman said. She said the motive was still unknown.

The killings came after a bloody week in which federal police officers and soldiers clashed repeatedly with suspected drug traffickers in the border state of Tamaulipas.

On Monday, three suspected criminals were killed and 10 federal agents and soldiers wounded in a shootout in the town of Rio Bravo, across the border from Donna, Texas. Ten people, including three U.S. residents, suspected of having ties to the powerful Gulf cartel were arrested the next day.

In a second shootout Tuesday evening, two federal agents were killed and three more injured when they clashed with a group of suspects in the nearby city of Reynosa.

Michoacan, the home state of President Felipe Calderon, has been the site of bloody turf battles between Mexico's two main cartels in recent months as well as the slaying in December of Sergio Gomez, a member of the top-selling group K-Paz de la Sierra.

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