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Old 12-04-09, 06:51 PM   #1
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Post Twelve die in drug war shootouts in Mexico (Reuters)

Reuters - Twelve people were killed in related gun battles in northern Mexico on Friday, one of the highest death tolls from a clash in the country's drug war in recent months.

Shooting broke out when soldiers approached a ranch during an operation near the city of Monterrey, military and local authorities told Reuters. Seven gunmen were killed in the shootout, they said.

Other gunmen, thought to be part of the Zetas drug gang, escaped the ranch and were chased by security forces, leading to another shootout that killed five people, including a bystander.

"So far we have 12 dead confirmed," a police source said. "Eleven were drug gang members and one was a civilian."

Since President Felipe Calderon took office in late 2006, more than 15,000 people have died in the drug war, which is tied to a fight between rival cartels for control of the lucrative trade.

Massive army deployments in cities such as Ciudad Juarez on the U.S. border have failed to quell the violence.


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