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Sinaloa: 7 killed in drug gang shoot out

A soldier, a police officer and five suspected bandits died today in a shootout believed to have been between rival gangs.

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Picture of AK-47 and M-16 rifles seized to alleged members of drug cartels in the community of Paso de Ovejas in Veracruz, Mexico on March 6. (LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/Getty Images)

Seven people, including two members of the security forces and five people thought to be drug cartel members, have been killed in a shootout between rival gangs in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, according to The Associated Press.

The gun battle broke out early today near the town of Choix, causing the Mexican army and local police to intervene, the news agency said, citing a state police spokesman.

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The spokesman said the area in the Sierra Madre is known to home to many drug traffickers.

Nearly 50,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderón called in the military battle Mexico’s powerful and feared drug cartels in 2006.

The Guadalajara Reporter said yesterday that Sinaloa police were warning drivers on the Carretera Internacional Mexico 15, a highway, of increasingly frequent robberies and carjackings.

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An Australian couple returning by car to California were held up by four armed men last week, the newspaper said. The newspaper also cited the robbery of a cargo truck and the fact that the state education secretary himself had been robbed along the road.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/mexico/120428/sinaloa-7-killed-drug-gang-shoot-out