July 31, 2005

Policeman kills U.S. tourist in northern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A policeman fatally shot a U.S.
tourist in increasingly violent northern Mexico in an apparent
accident, a state official said on Sunday.

A Mexican policeman shot the woman as she drove in a
pick-up truck early on Saturday morning with two companions
near the industrial city of Ciudad Juarez, across the border
from El Paso, Texas, said Chihuahua state spokesman Fernando

The police officer, who has been taken into custody, said
his rifle fired as he lost his balance when the vehicle nearly
backed into him, Sandoval told Reuters.

Several police officers had surrounded the pick-up, which
had apparently tried to evade a checkpoint.

The woman, in her twenties, was rushed to hospital in
Texas, Sandoval said. "Unfortunately she passed away."

Ciuadad Juarez and other cities along the U.S. border are
the battleground for a growing turf war between powerful drug
cartels, leaving more than 500 dead this year including several
police officers.

On Friday, the U.S. embassy temporarily closed its
consulate in another northern city, Nuevo Laredo, after rival
drug gangs clashed with grenades and machine guns. And the
United States renewed a travel warning on Tuesday for U.S.
citizens crossing the border into Mexico.