12 dead as police clash with gang suspects in western Mexico

Agents of the Jalisco prosecutor’s office stand guard at the site where four police officers and eight organized crime members were killed and six others injured, during a clash in El Salto, Jalisco state, Mexico, on 23 June 2022. PHOTO AFP

Guadalajara, Mexico: A shooting has left four police officers and eight suspected gang members dead in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, authorities said on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

The clash happened Wednesday night at a house in El Salto on the outskirts of the city of Guadalajara and, according to witnesses, lasted more than an hour.

Eight suspects were killed and three others seriously injured, Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro said.

Two people held captive inside the building were rescued following a tip that gunmen were seen leading gagged people into the house, prosecutor Luis Mendez Ruiz told reporters.

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Several people were arrested and weapons and ammunition were seized.

Ten police officers have been murdered this year in Jalisco, one of Mexico’s most violent states due to the presence of criminal gangs, according to official figures.

The western region, one of the most prosperous in the country, is the cradle of the powerful Jalisco New Generation cartel, which the authorities accuse of numerous deaths and disappearances.

Its leader, Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, is one of the world’s most wanted drug lords, with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration offering $10 million for his arrest.

More than 340,000 people have been killed in spiraling bloodshed in Mexico since the government deployed the military to fight drug cartels in 2006.

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