Death toll in Mexico border shootings rises to 29
A federal police officer guards a polling station in Ciudad Victoria, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico, Sunday July 4, 2010. (AP / Eduardo Verdugo)
Mark Stevenson, The Associated Press
Published Friday, January 11, 2019 12:18PM EST
MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities said Friday that five attackers have died in a clash with soldiers the northern border state of Tamaulipas, bringing the state's death toll in two days of presumed gang-related violence to 29.
A group of armed assailants attacked a military patrol Thursday on a highway near the Rio Grande, wounding one soldier, according to a Tamaulipas state official who was not authorized to be quoted by name. The official said the patrol returned fire, killing five assailants.
Some of the gunmen were wearing bulletproof vests and military-style camouflage. The area where the confrontation occurred, near the town of Miguel Aleman, has long been dominated by the Zetas drug cartel.
The town is about 50 miles (80 kilometres) west of McAllen, Texas, where U.S. President Donald Trump visited Thursday to push for a border wall.
The state official said the death toll in a separate presumed drug cartel shootout on Wednesday near Miguel Aleman had risen to 24, with the discovery of the bodies of three more bodies.
Experts originally counted 21 bodies, many found in twisted piles of charred corpses in a field near burned-out vehicles. But the state official said Thursday that continued investigations located three more bodies.
Those killings apparently arose from a dispute between the Gulf cartel and a faction of the Zetas cartel.