7 dead, 15 wounded amid violence during anti-cartel operation in Mexico

May 2, 2015 11:03 am 

MEXICO CITY, May 2 — At least seven people were killed and 15 others injured during an outbreak of violence early Friday in parts of Mexico's western state of Jalisco, where local government launched an operation against a drug cartel.

At a press conference, Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval said the violence, including setting banks on fire, blocking roads, and burning cars and buses, was in reaction to the state's operations against regional drug traffickers.

"The Jalisco operation aims to arrest all the members of a single criminal organization," the daily El Universal quoted Sandoval as saying.

While the governor did not name the organization, the attacks are believed to be carried out by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which has been locked in a bloody battle with local authorities.

Sandoval said there had been a total of seven deaths Friday, but did not specify the circumstances or the victims.

Fifteen people had been arrested during the operation and there were four armed confrontations, he added.

The Secretariat of National Defense confirmed that at least three soldiers and a state police officer were killed, and 12 soldiers were wounded in clashes in the capital Guadalajara and some 13 other cities.

Gunmen shot down of a helicopter along the Casimiro Castillo-Villa Purificacion Highway, in which three soldiers died. In Ciudad Guzman, there were reports of attacks targeting five banks.

Public transport in Guadalajara resumed after 2 p.m. local time, the daily said.

President Enrique Pena Nieto lamented the deaths via Twitter, saying "I acknowledge the courage and dedication of our Federal Forces in favor of Mexicans' safety."(PNA/Xinhua)



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