Mexico: Drug gang clash with army kills 21

Mexican soldiers fought gun battles with drug cartel hitmen near the U.S. border on Tuesday after gangsters abducted local police in violence that killed 21 people and left bodies strewn in the desert.

By Julian Cardona
Reuters

Soldiers pursued the hitmen through freezing desert in the northern state of Chihuahua after they dragged nine people, including some police, out of houses and shot six of them at a ranch in the early hours of Tuesday, the army said.

Heavily armed soldiers burst into the ranch, near the Texan border, and shot dead several of the hitmen, later chasing another group by helicopter before killing them too, army spokesman Enrique Torres said from the area.

“The bodies were strewn across the desert outside the nearby town of Villa Ahumada,” said Torres. An army sergeant was among the dead.

It was one of the bloodiest scenes this year in a spiraling drug war that killed more than 5,700 people across Mexico in 2008, damaging the public’s faith in President Felipe Calderon and raising fears of a spillover into the United States.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090211/
wl_nm/us_mexico_drugs

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