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Three dead in border city gunfights

Published 18/04/2015

Mexican authorities said police and soldiers had
Mexican authorities said police and soldiers had "detained members of a criminal gang that operates in Reynosa"

Gunfights broke out in the Mexican border city of Reynosa leaving at least three dead.

The government of the border state of Tamaulipas said police and soldiers had "detained members of a criminal gang that operates in Reynosa," an apparent reference to Gulf cartel members.

"Members of the same criminal group reacted (to the arrests) by attacking federal forces and carrying out blockades in the city," the statement said.

Officials said roads in the city were blocked with vehicles set on fire by gunmen.

The state government said three armed civilians, presumably cartel gunmen, had been killed in the confrontations. Authorities said the situation was brought under control by late afternoon.

The detained gang members were taken to Mexico City, the state government said.

A state official confirmed reports that a senior member of the Gulf cartel's Reynosa faction had been detained.

The gang leader has been known by his nickname "El Gafe," but his real name could not immediately be confirmed. The nickname apparently refers to a now-disbanded Mexican special forces military group.

The United States consulate in Matamoros issued a message urging US citizens to take precautions because of "several firefights and roadblocks throughout the city of Reynosa".

The city government posted a warning on its Twitter site recommending motorists avoid several areas, including the highway leading to the nearby city of Matamoros.

Warring factions of the Gulf cartel in Reynosa and Matamoros, known as the Metros and the Ciclones, have been fighting turf battles around the two cities.

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