Ten people, including five police officers, have been killed in a surprise attack by gunmen from a criminal gang against a federal police convoy in Mexico’s western state of Jalisco along the Pacific coast.
The federal police said in a statement released on Friday that the attack was carried out overnight as the seven vehicles transporting paramilitary gendarmerie officers were on patrol in the city of Ocotlan, located about 471 kilometers (292 miles) west of the capital, Mexico City.
The statement added that the officers were patrolling an agricultural area, when a vehicle approached the convoy and “without uttering a word, one of the individuals pulled out a large weapon and shot at the federal agents.”
The policemen fired shots in return and then more gunmen arrived aboard around ten other vehicles, firing in all directions.
“As a result of this clash, we report the deaths of five gendarmerie division officers and three civilians whose bodies had cartridge belts and tactical equipment and who presumably are part of organized crime. We regret the death of two civilians,” the statement said.
Although the statement did not mention what criminal organization was involved in the ambush, Jalisco New Generation cartel has been actively operating in the region.
They are currently fighting rival drug-trafficking criminal groups of Knights Templar Cartel and Los Zetas for control of the cities of Guadalajara, Jalisco and the states of Michoacan and Veracruz.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has pledged that his administration will get rid of the gang violence, which has claimed about 80,000 lives in Mexico since 2007. In spite of the promise, the steady stream of killings has continued unabated.