Mexico: 24 dead in Chihuahua kidnapping episode

Soldiers in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua chased and killed 14 armed men who had kidnapped nine people and killed six of them Feb. 10. One soldier was killed by the kidnappers, bringing the death toll to 21. The gunmen took the hostages from the ranching town of Villa Ahumada and drove them to an isolated farm where six were killed, said Enrique Torres, a spokesman for Conjunto Chihuahua, federal government’s multi-agency anti-drug operation in the state. A military convoy caught up with the kidnappers about 80 miles south of El Paso, killed seven of them and freed the remaining three hostages. Soldiers then pursued the other seven gunmen through heavy snow and killed them in a shootout. Three more apparent members of the gang were killed by soldiers in a mopping-up operation in Villa Ahumada Feb. 13. Assault rifles, fragmentation grenades and military uniforms and helmets were seized in the operation. (La Jornada, Mexico City, KVIA, El Paso, Feb. 13; NYT, Feb. 11)

See our last post on Mexico’s narco wars.

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