Millennium Post

22 die in clashes in Mexico

Clashes across the violence-plagued Mexican state of Michoacan have killed at least 20 gunmen and two federal police officers, the government said. Gunmen blocked roads throughout Michoacan and ambushed police patrols in at least six different spots throughout the day, the interior department said in a statement.

The department said federal agents repelled the attacks, killing 20 and wounding an unknown number of assailants. Two police officers died in the shootouts and 15 were wounded on Tuesday, it said. Fighting between the Knights Templar drug cartel and federal police has been intensifying over the past week in western Mexico.

On Monday, five people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a group of community self-defence members gathered on a plaza in the Michoacan town of Los Reyes.
About 300 masked community vigilantes wearing similar T-shirts arrived at city hall in the town of

Los Reyes and announced they would take over policing the town. Minutes later three assailants opened fired on the crowd, killing three members of the self-defence group, a police officer and a passer-by, prosecutors said.

Self-defence squads have been forming in recent months in Michoacan by people who say they are fighting violence, kidnappings and extortions carried out by drug cartels. Authorities in the northern state of Chihuahua said police found the bodies of six men in a remote village where several homes and cars were set ablaze.

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