Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mexico Seizes Arsenal, Drugs in Tijuana

Thank goodness it was only a 'brief shootout'. That's nice for a change.

By LUIS PEREZ – 11 hours ago

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Soldiers seized assault rifles, grenades, marijuana and bulletproof vests bearing police insignia after a brief shootout in the Mexican border city of Tijuana.

No one was wounded in the overnight exchange of fire with three suspects hunkered down in a house in La Mesa district, army Gen. Sergio Aponte Polito told reporters Friday.

Troops seized 91 assault rifles — some with butts of gold and ivory — along with 18 grenades, the bulletproof vests and more than 880 pounds of marijuana, Aponte Polito said. The three suspects, aged 25 to 33, were arrested.

The bust followed weeks of bloody confrontations along the U.S.-Mexico border between Mexican security forces and alleged drug cartel gunmen.

On Tuesday, army troops fought a seven-hour gunbattle with suspects who were hiding in a house in an upscale neighborhood of Tijuana.

When soldiers finally stormed the house, one person was found dead and two others were arrested. Several assault rifles, shotguns and police uniforms were also found.

Also Friday, police commander Ricardo Rodriguez was shot dead in a city plaza by gunmen who opened fire with assault rifles from a moving car, state police director Daniel Camarena said.

Rodriguez was killed a day after three mutilated bodies were dumped outside the offices of the federal Attorney General's office in Oaxaca.

And in the border state of Tamaulipas, soldiers arrested six police officers who allegedly received payoffs from members of the Gulf cartel, Mexico's Defense Department said in a statement.

Associated Press: Mexico Seizes Arsenal, Drugs in Tijuana


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