MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities said attackers killed four members of a civilian police patrol in the turbulent southern state of Guerrero, while two city police officers and five gunmen died in a series of gunbattles in the northern border town of Rio Bravo.
The prosecutors' office in Guerrero said late Thursday that seven members of a community police force were attacked as they patrolled the streets of the city of Tixtla, which is home to the teachers college that had 43 of its students vanish more than a year ago after being detained by municipal police in a nearby city. Four members of the vigilante-style community force died in the attack.
The community police are civilians allowed to carry weapons and defend their towns in many parts of rural Mexico where official police forces are mistrusted. They have often clashed with organized crime gangs. The attackers have not been identified, but residents have said two drug gangs appear to be fighting over turf in the area.
On Friday, officials in the northern border state of Tamaulipas said two police officers and five suspected gunmen died in at least three gunbattles in Rio Bravo, which on the Texas border near McAllen.
Two confrontations occurred late Thursday when gunmen attacked police patrols in the town, killing two officers and wounding a female officer. Her injuries are not life-threatening. A bystander was also hit by gunfire and was listed in stable condition.
The officers returned fire and killed two suspects while other attackers fled, authorities said.
Gunmen later opened fire on state police in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, and three suspected attackers were killed, officials said.
The area has been the scene of turf battles between rival factions of the Gulf Cartel.