U.S. releases first part of drug aid for Mexico
Tijuana police chief fired after weekend violence
By Natalia Parra
ACAPULCO, Mexico — Ten suspected traffickers and a soldier were killed in gunbattles Sunday in a southern Mexican state plagued by drug violence.
Another soldier, a federal police officer and a state officer were also wounded in the town of Arcelia, the Guerrero state Public Safety Department said in a news release.
The violence began with a shootout between two rival gangs that left one dead, according to the statement. Nine more, plus the soldier, were killed in a subsequent confrontation between troops, police and heavily armed men traveling in 10 cars.
Also Sunday, six people were killed when assailants opened fire inside a pool hall in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Chihuahua state prosecutor's office spokesman Alejandro Pariente said investigators recovered more than 50 bullet casings.
And in Michoacan state, next to Guerrero, Mexican soldiers found at least eight bodies buried in a shallow grave.
Discovered on Saturday, the corpses had been cut in pieces and burned, Mexico's Defense Department said in a statement.
Soldiers found the remains in the patio of a house in the outskirts of the city of Uruapan. Two hatchets, a knife, guns, grenades, handcuffs and ski masks were discovered inside a water tank buried near the bodies, it said.
Meanwhile, police in northern Mexico made a hospital-bed arrest of an alleged hit-team chief who had been wounded in a deadly shootout in the streets of Mexicali, near California.
Victor Serrano, 24, was flown to Mexico City on Sunday for questioning, Baja California state Attorney General Rommel Moreno said. Three alleged gang members died in the Friday night shootout, and 14 others were arrested.
Moreno said the cell was wanted in at least 20 murders in Baja California on behalf of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
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The Mexico City newspaper El Universal says more than 5,000 people have died this year in drug-related violence. Authorities have not released an official toll.