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Five dead as 50 gunman go on rampage in Mexico

posted 22 Jul 2012, 11:34 by Mpelembe   [ updated 22 Jul 2012, 11:35 ]

Some 50 gunmen go on the rampage in the Mexican state of Michoacan, killing at least five people.

VISTA HERMOSA, MICHOACAN, MEXICO (JULY 21, 2012)  (REUTERS) - 
At least five people - including a police commander - were killed on Saturday (July 21) in the Mexican state of Michoacan.
Local media reports that the violence began when approximately 50 gunmen aboard at least eight vehicles opened fire on a gas station near the town of Vista Hermosa. The gunmen were reportedly armed with AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles.


Following the incident, three police officers who had been called in for back up from the neighbouring state of Jalisco were killed during a firefight with the same group of gunmen.


The gunmen then drove to the offices of Vista Hermosa public security headquarters where they shot and killed the local police chief, Jose Luis Flores Martinez, 42.


Local media reported that the gunmen later opened fire on the offices of the town mayor as he was meeting with a local assembly. During the shooting, a truck driver was shot and killed as he drove near the incident.


The gunmen burned several police vehicles before escaping. Mexican army units cordoned off the area to search for the gunmen, but no arrests were made.


Michoacan, which is President Felipe Calderon's home state, has been plagued with violence as rival gangs fought over lucrative methamphetamine trafficking routes and vast marijuana fields.

Nationally, drug violence has killed more than 50,000 people since President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led crackdown on drug cartels and organised crime after taking office five years ago.Local media reports that the violence began when approximately 50 gunmen aboard at least eight vehicles opened fire on a gas station near the town of Vista Hermosa. The gunmen were reportedly armed with AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles.


Following the incident, three police officers who had been called in for back up from the neighbouring state of Jalisco were killed during a firefight with the same group of gunmen.


The gunmen then drove to the offices of Vista Hermosa public security headquarters where they shot and killed the local police chief, Jose Luis Flores Martinez, 42.


Local media reported that the gunmen later opened fire on the offices of the town mayor as he was meeting with a local assembly. During the shooting, a truck driver was shot and killed as he drove near the incident.


The gunmen burned several police vehicles before escaping. Mexican army units cordoned off the area to search for the gunmen, but no arrests were made.


Michoacan, which is President Felipe Calderon's home state, has been plagued with violence as rival gangs fought over lucrative methamphetamine trafficking routes and vast marijuana fields.


Nationally, drug violence has killed more than 50,000 people since President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led crackdown on drug cartels and organised crime after taking office five years ago.

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