9 killed in shootout, 54 cartel members face US sanctions

In a gun-battle between Mexican security forces and suspected gang members in the town of Tuxtepec in the southern Oaxaca state, nine people were killed. The victims included two soldiers while authorities could not confirm the number of casualties nor if they were armed drug dealers or civilians.

The incident took place Tuesday evening and continued till late in the night. According to the initial reports, the commando attacked a motorcycle repair shop belonging to a rivalling drug gang affiliated with a yet unknown cartel. Four men were killed on the spot while a fifth was killed while he tried to flee the scene. The assailants were then intercepted by military units in the centre of the town, provoking a shootout between the gunmen and the soldiers.

Last month, a score of armed men had already killed 14 people in the same area.

Meanwhile, the US Treasury Department announced that sanctions would be imposed on 54 people, belonging to two powerful drug gangs. The Treasury is blaming them for the increased crime rate along the US-Mexican border. The main targets were said to be the principal lieutenants of the powerfulGulf cartel and Los Zetas cartel. The blacklist indicates that anyone would be banned from doing business with these people and that their assets, if found under US jurisdiction, would be frozen.