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Mexico Drug Gang Hits Cops with Car Bomb, Kills 2

Police secure the area after a drug gang rammed a car bomb into two patrol vehicles. (AP Photo)

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (CBS/AP) Members of a northern Mexico drug gang rammed a car that may have been packed with explosives or inflammable material into two police patrol trucks Thursday in the border city of Ciudad Juarez on Thursday, killing two officers and a medical technician, and wounding nine people.

Federal police said the attack - which may be one of the first uses of an explosive-packed car in Mexico - was in retaliation for the arrest of a top leader of the La Linea drug gang, Jesus Acosta Guerrero, earlier in the day.

Seven officers and two civilians were wounded in the attack, said a state police source who was not authorized to be quoted by name. He said the compact passenger car had apparently been carrying some kind of explosive or inflammable device when it rammed the police pickup trucks.

Federal police confirmed in a statement that the car rammed the patrol vehicles, but were not immediately available to confirm what, if anything the car was carrying.

Police said the man arrested Thursday, Acosta Guerrero, 35, was the "operations leader" of the la Linea gang, which works for the Juarez drug cartel.

It said he was responsible for at least 25 executions, mainly of rival gang members, and also ordered attacks on police.

Drug gangs have previously attacked Mexican soldiers and law enforcement officers with grenades and powerful rifles, but seldom have been known to use explosives.

Further south in Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located, gunmen shot and killed the nephew of the governor-elect during a botched kidnapping, authorities said Thursday.

Mario Medina, nephew of Governor-elect Cesar Duarte, was shot in the back Wednesday as he tried to escape from his assailants in the state capital, also named Chihuahua, state prosecutors' spokesman Eduardo Esparza said.

Medina, 42, was at his parents' business when the assailants tried to kidnap him, Esparza said. Police had not discovered a motive.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in drug violence in Chihuahua state, most of them in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. There have been more than 23,000 killings throughout the country linked to drug violence since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of soldiers and federal agents to drug hotspots in late 2006.

  • Edecio Martinez

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