A burned vehicle blocks a highway in Nuevo Laredo Friday. A burned vehicle blocks a highway in Nuevo Laredo Friday.

US issues Nuevo Laredo travel alert after shootings on Friday

Cartel hitmen attack soldiers, block roads with burned vehicles

The United States Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, has issued a travel alert due to a wave of violence that has rocked the border town since Thursday.

In a Facebook post late Friday night, the consulate urged its personnel and United States citizens to take shelter or abstain from visiting Mexico.

Presumed members of the Northeast Cartel attacked military patrols and set up roadblocks with burned vehicles at different points in the city. One group of gangsters entered a commercial center, causing panic among shoppers and workers.

One suspected gangster was killed in the shooting.

“The consulate has received reports of multiple gunfights and blockades throughout the city of Nuevo Laredo. U.S. government personnel are advised to shelter in place,” the post read.

The consulate posted on Saturday that it had restricted the movement of personnel and enforced an evening curfew until further notice.

“The consulate continues to monitor the security situation in the city of Nuevo Laredo following violence between Mexican authorities and criminal organizations . . .” the office posted.

Consulate personnel were advised to notify friends and family of their safety and monitor local media to stay updated.

The posts provide phone numbers for emergency assistance and the consular affairs office of the State Department, and also suggest that personnel enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates on the situation.

The latest wave of violence began on Thursday when members of the Northeast Cartel clashed with security forces, leaving six gangsters and one soldier dead.

Source: El Universal (sp), Debate (sp)

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