Four police officers were among nearly two dozen people killed after security forces engaged in an hour-long gun battle with suspected cartel members Saturday in a Mexican town near the U.S. border, days after President Trump said he was moving to designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations.
The shootout happened around noon in the small town of Villa Union, a town in Coahuila state located about an hour’s drive southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas.
Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told local media that four of the dead were police officers killed in the initial confrontation and that several municipal workers were missing. On Sunday, the Coahuila state government said that security forces killed seven additional members of the gang, bringing the death toll to at least 21.
The armed group of suspected cartel members stormed the town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks, attacking local government offices and prompting state and federal forces to intervene. Ten alleged members of the Cartel of the Northeast were initially killed in the response.
Riquelme told reporters the state had acted “decisively” to take back the town, as videos of the shootout posted on social media showed burned-out vehicles and the facade of Villa Union’s municipal office riddled with bullets. (Read more from “Gun Battle near Border Leaves at Least 21 Dead” HERE)