Global General

Mexico drug shootout leaves 5 dead, 13 detained

Updated: 2010-12-30 11:08
Large Medium Small

MEXICO CITY - Gunmen battled police in the northern state of Durango, leaving two bystanders, a federal agent and two drug cartel suspects dead, authorities reported Wednesday.

Related readings:
Mexico drug shootout leaves 5 dead, 13 detained Mexico oil explosion kills 28
Mexico drug shootout leaves 5 dead, 13 detained 10 gangsters killed in two shootouts in Mexico
Mexico drug shootout leaves 5 dead, 13 detained Explosion kills at least 6 in Mexico hotel
Mexico drug shootout leaves 5 dead, 13 detained 12 killed in fresh landslide in southeast Mexico

Thirteen suspects were detained, including several former state policemen who allegedly worked for the Sinaloa cartel headed by fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman," which is fighting the Zetas gang for control of the region.

The suspects captured after Tuesday's shootout allegedly oversaw drug trafficking through Durango, carried out extortions and paid bribes or threatened officials in the area, said federal police anti-drug chief Ramon Pequeno.

Pequeno said the gunmen holed up in a house in the capital city of Durango on Tuesday and opened fire on federal agents with assault rifles, a .50-caliber sniper rifle and grenades. Federal agents returned fire.

He said a woman aboard a passing bus was hit by a stray bullet and died, as did the bus driver. Pequeno said those bullets were fired by the suspects, and described the civilian deaths as "collateral damage."

Most of the suspects were wearing army-style camouflage shirts when they were detained, and police found other official-looking uniforms at the house. Two of those detained were women.

Officials said one of the suspects, Ranulfo Ramirez Ruiz, goes by the alias "Guilligan," an apparent reference to the 1960s television series Gilligan's Island.