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22 killed in dramatic shootout between police and gangs in Mexico

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Twenty-two people were killed after gang members in Mexico set up a roadblock on a major highway in the violent state of Michoacan, engaging in a shootout with police who responded to the scene late Tuesday.

The dramatic killings were the latest in a surge of violence that has rocked President Enrique Pena Nieto's promise to clamp down on security, Reuters reported.

In May, he had ordered one of his generals to take over all security operations in the crime-ridden Michoacan, currently in the control of gang members.

The order followed a long-standing mission of former President Felipe Calderon to tackle drug cartels in the region — a mission that has led to the killing of more than 70,000 since 2006, Reuters reported.

Mr. Pena Nieto has seen murder rates decrease slightly in his few months in office, government figures show.

But Tuesday's killings remind that gangs and drug crime are huge issues in Mexico. Two federal police officers and 20 gang members were killed, the Interior Ministry said, Reuters reported.

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