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Police purged in anti-cartel move

Mexican authorities have fired nearly 1,000 police officers to weed out corruption from the violence-ravaged Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Veracruz police chief Arturo Bermudez said 980 state agents have been dismissed in the past couple of weeks after failing lie detector and other tests. Only 27% in the 6,000-member force have taken the tests.

The announcement comes four days after Mexican president Felipe Calderon said Veracruz state had been turned over to the brutal Zetas drug cartel.

The state has seen a rise in drug crimes since mid-2011.

Sixty-seven people have died in two recent mass killings apparently linked to the Sinaloa cartel targeting the Zetas cartel.

Mr Calderon has deployed troops and federal police to Veracruz.

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