A police vehicle burns in Altar. A police vehicle burns in Altar.

Code red issued in Sonora after escalation of violence in northern region

Four suspected criminals died and two police officers were injured

Armed confrontations between criminal gangs and security forces have killed four suspected gang members and injured two police officers in Sonora. The officers were reported in stable condition.

A code red alertwas issued for the north of the state Monday and a federal highway was closed temporarily. Violence had begun to escalate August 3 in the municipalities of Caborca, Pitiquito and Altar where attacks were directed against several homes, and in one incident a grenade was thrown.

At least one police officer was injured in Pitiquito around 7:00 a.m. Monday after a 20-minute shootout in which an armed group was eventually neutralized. Security authorities published an alert at 11:00 a.m. the same day to confirm that the code red was still active and that citizens should take extra precautions.

“The operation in northern Sonora continues to be active in code red, where police forces …. are intensifying the operations against a criminal group in the area,” the statement read.

No further update had been provided since then as of noon Tuesday.

On videos uploaded to social media, a long series of gunshots by automatic weapons can be heard in Pitiquito. In another video in Altar, individuals are seen setting a police vehicle on fire.

Motorists reported that the Pitiquito-Caborca highway was closed after the clashes, but state authorities confirmed that traffic flow was restored at around 2:50 p.m. Monday.

With reports from Milenio and TV Azteca

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