The City Hall of Villa Union is riddled with bullet holes after a gun battle on Saturday. AP
Mexican security forces fought an hour-long gun gunbattle on Saturday with suspected cartel gunmen in Villa Union, a town in Coahuila state about an hour’s drive southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas, leaving at least 14 people dead, officials said.
Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told local media four of the dead were police officers killed in the initial confrontation, and that several municipal workers were missing.
He said the armed group stormed the town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks, attacking local government offices and prompting state and federal forces to intervene. Ten alleged members of the Cartel of the Northeast were killed in the response.
Videos of the shootout posted on social media showed burned out vehicles and the facade of Villa Union’s municipal office riddled with bullets. Rapid gunfire could be heard in videos along with frantic people telling loved ones to stay indoors. A damaged black pickup truck with the C.D.N. of the Cartel del Noreste, or Cartel of the Northeast, written in white on its door is seen on the street.
Security forces will remain in the town for several days to restore a sense of calm, the governor said.
The discovery of the bodies was another reminder of the task facing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December vowing to reduce the gang-fuelled violence.
The dead included two officers and six people believed to have been held captive in a house in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco state, the state prosecutor's office said. Another man died on the street.
State officials said in a statement that they were investigating to determine the cause of death. The corpses were found in Fresnillo, one of the largest cities in the central mining state.
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