State police officers in Durango were killed in an ambush in broad daylight Thursday. Seven officers were wounded and two of the attackers also died in the shootout, authorities said.
The assault occurred as a squad of eight officers was returning to the capital city from their base in Huazamota, Mezquital, to take time off. They were attacked shortly before reaching San Antonio de Padua by a convoy of six vehicles waiting at a curve in the highway.
The officers managed to notify their colleagues in Huazamota, four kilometers away, of the attack and an additional 14 officers went to their defense.
The attackers eventually fled, leaving their vehicles abandoned at the scene with traces of blood inside, indicating that other gunmen may have been injured during the battle. Authorities are canvassing hospitals in the area where the wounded criminals may have been taken.
The injured police officers were airlifted to a Durango city hospital.
In a press conference yesterday, authorities revealed few details about who may have been responsible. The gunmen were not wearing tactical gear and it is unknown to which cartel they belonged.
“I strongly condemn the unfortunate events that occurred in the Huazamota Mezquital region, where elements of the state police lost their lives,” Durango Governor José Rosas Aispuro tweeted yesterday. “No one can be above the law.”
Around 90 elements of the state police, the prosecutor’s office and the National Guard were dispatched to the area, and authorities alerted officials in Jalisco and Zacatecas that the attackers may have sought refuge there due to the states’ proximity.
Officials say the attack could be related to one that occurred on September 7, when a convoy of 10 vehicles descended upon nearby Canoas. Armed men entered a home and shot a 34-year-old woman to death, injuring her 12-year-old daughter. The handcuffed body of a 34-year-old man was also found at the scene.
The man, who was president of a parents’ association, had been missing for several days and it is thought his body was left at the scene after he was killed elsewhere.
Source: Reforma (sp)