3 police officers killed in "unprecedented" explosives attack in Mexico
Three police officers were killed and 10 other people wounded Tuesday in an "unprecedented" explosives attack in the Mexican state of Jalisco, the state governor said.
Police officers and staff from the state prosecutor's office "suffered a cowardly attack with explosive devices, which preliminarily caused the death of three colleagues from the municipal police and the Prosecutor's Office, as well as 10 people injured," Governor Enrique Alfaro said on Twitter.
"This is an unprecedented event that shows what these organized crime groups are capable of," the governor said. "This attack also represents a challenge against the Mexican state as a whole."
The western state is the base of operations of the Jalisco New Generation cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful drug trafficking groups that has a presence in a large part of the country and is embroiled in disputes with other drug syndicates.
Alfaro said Jalisco's security cabinet was "in permanent session" to investigate the attack, which has not been attributed to a specific criminal organization.
Authorities learned of the incident shortly after 8:00 pm Tuesday, with reports indicating a vehicle on fire with five people inside in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, a suburb of the city of Guadalajara, police sources said.
Forensic investigators were on the scene, as well as several ambulances to transport the injured to hospital.
According to reports by local network Televisa, the explosion occurred near a vehicle in which the security officials were traveling.
Authorities were investigating whether a grenade or homemade mine was used, police said. The Jalisco New Generation cartel -- which the U.S. Department of Justice has called "one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world" --has used the latter device in the western state of Michoacan.
In April, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against members or associates of the Jalisco cartel who apparently went into a side business of timeshare fraud that allegedly targeted elderly Americans.
The Jalisco cartel is better known for producing millions of doses of deadly fentanyl and smuggling them into the United States disguised to look like Xanax, Percocet or oxycodone. Such pills cause about 70,000 overdose deaths per year in the United States.
The cartel's leader, Nemesio Oseguera, "El Mencho," is among the most sought by Mexican and U.S. authorities.
Authorities also reported a drone attack on a house in the Michoacan town of Apatzingan this month that wounded one person.
While car-bomb attacks are rare in Mexico, a car bomb killed a National Guard member and wounded others in June in Guanajuato, another state hit hard by cartel-linked violence.
Also on Tuesday, 13 security personnel who had been taken captive the day before by protesters in the southern state of Guerrero were released after negotiations with authorities.
Officials said the protesters were infiltrated by a criminal group.
Guerrero has endured years of violence linked to turf wars between drug cartels.
Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 murders and some 100,000 disappearances since the launch of a controversial military anti-drug offensive in 2006, most attributed to criminal organizations.