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'Drugs kingpin' dies in shootout

Reputed Gulf cartel leader Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords, has been killed in a gun battle with Marines and soldiers in the northern border city of Matamoros, officials said.

Cardenas Guillen, also known as "Tony Tormenta" or "Tony the Storm", is the brother of imprisoned former leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen and is believed to have run the powerful cartel along with Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez.

Federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire said Cardenas Guillen died in a clash across the border from Brownsville, Texas, that also claimed the lives of three gunmen and two Marines.

Cardenas Guillen has been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and US authorities have offered a five million dollar (£3 million) reward for information leading to the 48-year-old's arrest.

His death is blow to Mexico's second-most powerful cartel and a major boost to President Felipe Calderon's war on drug cartels.

Cardenas Guillen's brother, Osiel, led the Gulf cartel until his arrest by Mexican authorities in 2003.

Osiel Cardenas Guillen was extradited to the United States in 2007 and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Texas court in February.

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