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Gunmen attack police station, kill 3 officers in Guanajuato

3 officers and a judge were kidnapped in the assault on police in Villagrán

Gunmen attacked the municipal police station in Villagrán, Guanajuato, on Wednesday, leaving three officers dead and one seriously wounded.

Upon fleeing the scene, the attackers kidnapped three other officers and a judge.

During their escape, the gunmen burned a vehicle on a bridge in nearby Sarabia, nine kilometers west of Villagrán, where an army base is located, presumably to block the route of security forces in pursuit.

The attack occurred around 8:00pm when at least 15 armed civilians arrived at the station aboard three vehicles as the officers were changing shifts.

They attacked the station with high-powered rifles and grenades, initiating an “intense” gunfight that lasted about 10 minutes, according to neighbors.

The National Guard and state police arrived on the scene to secure the area and track the possible escape routes taken by the attackers, but there have been no arrests.

Minutes after the attack, another group of armed men set fire to a truck to block access to the army barracks in nearby Sarabia, nine kilometers west of Villagrán.

A message presumably left by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) was found in the community of Valtierrilla, Salamanca, but its contents were not released.

The attack on police came just after Villagrán Mayor Juan Lara Mendoza declared on Tuesday that his city was the safest in Guanajuato.

Two of Lara’s nephews were arrested in March during an operation to find José Antonio “El Marro” Yépez Ortiz, presumed leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel. The mayor has denied having any connection with the cartel.

Santa Rosa de Lima is located in the municipality of Villagrán. The cartel of the same name competes with the CJNG for control of the region.

Sources: El Financiero (sp), Milenio (sp), Proceso (sp)

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