A lengthy gunfight between Mexican police and suspected cartel members ended with bullet-riddled buildings and scores of bodies.
The hourlong shootout began around noon on Saturday in Villa Union, a town of about 3,000 located near the Texas border. A large group of cartel fighters entered the town and began an all-out assault on local government offices.
Photos and videos from the attack show burned-out vehicles and buildings completely covered in bullet holes..
According to Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme, four of those killed in the shootout were police officers. At least 17 alleged Cartel of the Northeast members were killed by security forces amid the violence.
One photo taken in the aftermath of the carnage showed a black truck with bullet damage and the initials C.D.N. emblazoned on the side, which stands for the name of the cartel suspected to have perpetrated the attack.
After the shootout, Riquelme said that authorities have taken more than a dozen guns and identified 14 vehicles that were used during the gunfight. He said that security forces will stay in Villa Union for an unspecified period of time as a way of restoring order in the small town.
“These groups won’t be allowed to enter state territory,” the Coahuila government said in a statement.
Saturday’s attack comes a month after six American children and three women were killed when they were ambushed in northern Mexico. President Trump offered to help Mexico “wipe” the drug cartels “off the face of the earth,” but Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has championed a policy with the catchphrase of “ hugs, not bullets,” declined the offer.
In October, dramatic video captured the Sinaloa cartel’s successful attempt to release El Chapo’s son after he was arrested in the city of Culiacan.
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