Mexico police die in gun battle

Violence erupts after officers surround alleged drug safe house in northern Mexico.

    Drug related deaths have surged by almost 50 per
    cent this year in Mexico [EPA] 

    Weapons and ammunition were also reportedly seized during the operation.


    Threats to police


    The Sinaloa cartel, which mainly operates in Mexico's northern Sinaloa, Sonora and Chihuahua states, is headed by Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo".


    The cartel is fighting others for control of lucrative cocaine smuggling routes into the US.


    Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has sent about 25,000 troops and federal police to affected states in a bid to quell drug violence across the country since taking officer in December 2006.


    The operations have had some success, with several large drug seizures and the arrest of several prominent cartel members.


    However, violence has continued to rise, with drugs-related killings rising by almost 50 per cent this year to 1,400.


    Over the weekend at least three banners issuing death threats against 21 local police officers by name were hung in Chihuahua state over the weekend, The Associated Press reported.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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