Mexico clashes kill 4 security forces, injure 12 others in Jalisco
At least four Mexican forces have been killed and 12 others injured in clashes that broke out between security forces and unknown gunmen in the western state of Jalisco.
Three soldiers were killed on Friday when gunmen opened fire on a military helicopter flying some 250 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second biggest city and Jalisco’s state capital, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“(The gunmen) attacked the military personnel with shots from firearms, hitting the Cougar helicopter, which conducted an emergency landing,” the statement said.
According to the statement, 10 soldiers and two federal police officers were wounded and three other soldiers went missing in the raid.
In another incident in Jalisco, at least one police officer was killed and “an undetermined number” of gang members died in an exchange of fire in the town of Autlan, in the southwestern part of Jalisco, state government spokesman Gonzalo Sanchez said.
Also on Friday, over a dozen buses and trucks were set on fire in the crime-plagued city of Guadalajara.
Authorities called on Guadalajara residents to stay indoors as they struggled to extinguish the burning vehicles.
“Remain calm. If you have any reason to leave your house, don’t go out,” the state prosecutor’s office of Jalisco said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, a number of banks and gas stations were set ablaze in the town of Ciudad Guzman, about 120 kilometers (74 miles) south of Guadalajara, and the coastal tourism destination of Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific Ocean’s Banderas Bay, officials said.
No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they came amid acts of violence carried out by the Jalisco New Generation Drug Cartel, which killed 20 police officers in two ambushes in March and April.
Drug cartels usually resort to such attacks as a reaction to police and military operations or to the arrest of their key members.
Before the violence broke out, the government declared the beginning of Operation Jalisco “to guarantee the security of citizens and reduce crime” in the state.