13 die in gunfights with police in Mexico

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 9:59am

Gunmen in Mexico opened fire on police and civilians Wednesday in two separate incidents, in which at least 13 people died, according to a government statement. One incident was gang related.

Federal Police officers aboard a helicopter spotted a suspicious convoy in the state of Michoacan. The occupants fired at them, the National Safety Commission said. The officers returned fire, killing five people, including an organized crime leader.

Police seized the gunmen's vehicles and found five assault rifles with magazines and other combat paraphernalia, the National Safety Commission said. Mexico has a reputation for strict gun ownership laws.

In the town of Apatzingan, gunmen opened fire twice on residents who were commemorating the anniversary of the death of a revolutionary figure popular in the region.

Federal Police returned fire and "shot down" one gunman, who was armed with a .50-caliber rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle and two pistols. It is not clear if the man died from his wounds.

Eight died when the same group, marching in a ceremonial parade, came under fire again. In addition, six civilians and two police officers were wounded.

Mexico's Federal Police are made up of multiple divisions, the largest of which is part of the military.

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