CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) – Eight people and a number of burned-out armored trucks were killed on a street in a furious gun battle between rival Mexican drug gangs near the U.S. border.
Residents of the northern border state of Tamaulipas said the firefights took place on Monday and lasted until Sunday in the hamlet of Santa Rosalia in the border community of Camargo. The residents asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.
They said burned bodies were found in or near the burned-out trucks, at least three of which had welded steel plates that served as improvised armor.
They said the police and soldiers only ventured into the area during the day on the weekend, but the cartel armed forces reappeared at night to continue their fight.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the gun battles took place between two rival gangs and that “many people” were killed in the confrontation. The area has long been disputed between the Northeast Cartel, a remnant of the ancient Zetas gang, and the Gulf Cartel.
The area is not far from the location where 19 people, including 16 Guatemalan migrants, were killed in January. Twelve state police officers are charged with these murders.
The two cartels often used self-built armored vehicles in the turf war that has lasted for more than a decade.