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'40 killed' in Mexico gunfight

Published 22/05/2015

A gunfight in Mexico has left scores of people dead
A gunfight in Mexico has left scores of people dead

About 40 people have been killed in a large-scale firefight between law enforcement officers and criminal suspects in western Mexico.

Officials said almost all the dead were suspected criminals.

The gunbattle happened in an area between Michoacan and Jalisco states that is known as a stronghold of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, which has mounted several large-scale attacks on federal and state forces in recent weeks.

While there was no immediate confirmation on the identity of the suspects, Michoacan governor Salvador Jara told local media "the likeliest thing is" the Jalisco cartel was involved in the shootout.

The area on the Michoacan-Jalisco border has been the scene of bloody shootings and grisly discoveries for several years.

The scene of the shootout is close to the community of La Barca, Jalisco, where authorities in 2013 found more than five dozen bodies in mass graves linked to the Jalisco cartel.

The Jalisco gang has been involved in the deadliest attacks against law enforcement in recent memory in the last few months.

In April, gunmen believed to be linked to the cartel ambushed a police convoy in the western state of Jalisco, killing 15 state police officers and wounding five.

While the area is near Lake Chapala, popular with Canadian and US expatriates and tourists, it has also been marked by killings of politicians. In 2014, gunmen killed the mayor of a nearby town, Tanhuato.

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