At least 12 dead following gun fight between Mexican military and Mexican drug cartel hit men

Several intersections in the City of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico were shut down as gun battles erupted between the Mexican military and heavily armed “hit men” from a Mexican drug cartel. The gunfire could be heard across the U.S. border in Laredo, Texas leading citizens there to call 911.

The Latin American Herald Tribune reports, ““Nine criminals, two civilians and a soldier were killed in the three clashes between elements of the National Defense Secretariat and members of organized crime, and 21 people were wounded.” That information is attributed to the Government Secretariat from Mexico.

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo had posted warnings on its website hours before the gunfire was reported by Texas citizens, “We have received credible reports of widespread violence occurring now between narcotics-trafficking organizations and the Mexican army in Nuevo Laredo.”

The U.S. Consulate went on to say, “The consulate confirmed that fragmentation grenades were used in the attacks and that suspected drug-gang members had blocked several roads, adding that it advised ‘all U.S. citizens in Nuevo Laredo to remain indoors until the security situation improves.’”

The Latin American Herald continues, “Nuevo Laredo, which is located across from Laredo, Texas, and is the border city through which 75 percent of Mexican exports to the United States are shipped, is currently being fought over by the Gulf cartel and its former allies, Los Zetas, a band of special forces deserters turned outlaws that control that region.

The City of Nuevo Laredo’s Facebook page is filled with reports of the violence:

One post reads: “Well it got crazy yesterday in our sister city of nuevo laredo between cartels, 20 dead hope this stops soon”

Another says: “May GOD Bless the City of Nuevo Laredo Tam. Too much killing!”

The Latin American Herald Tribune also reports on the violence which occurred on July 15 near El Paso, Texas, “Elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, at least four people were killed, including a woman, and four others were wounded in an attack carried out by suspected cartel hit men inCiudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, authorities said Friday.”

The battles in Cuidad Juarez, near El Paso, Texas have now seen the first time that a car bomb has been used in the violent clashes between drug cartels and the Mexican military.

The AP Reports,“Mayor Jose Reyes (of Cuidad Juarez) said federal police have confirmed to him that a car bomb was used in the attack that killed three people Thursday.

“It was the first time a drug cartel has used a bomb to attack Mexican security forces, marking an escalation in the country’s already raging drug war.

“Federal police and paramedics were lured to the scene by a phone call reporting that shots were fired at a major intersection and a municipal police officer lay wounded.

“As the paramedics were working on the wounded man, a parked car exploded, he said.”

These latest gun battles continue a series of recent violent clashes along the U.S.-Mexico border putting Mexican citizens, tourists and Texas residents in danger. On July 11, 2010 an hour long gun battle erupted in Cuidad Juarez.

CNN reports on other recent instances of extreme violence along the border:

“On June 29 a shooting between suspected drug traffickers and Mexican federal police left one officer dead. The shooting was also seen as a watershed moment in the ongoing border drug war — several bullets from that gunfight strayed crossed the border into Texas, hitting the El Paso City Hall. There were no injuries reported on the U.S. side.

“On April 24, six federal police officers were killed in a daylight shooting in Juarez. Hours after the attack, a painted message found in the city allegedly from members of “La Linea” claimed responsibility for the attack. La Linea is an extension of the Juarez cartel, made up in-part of former Juarez police officers, according to authorities.”