April 14, 2006

Two policemen shot dead in Tijuana

TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - Two Mexican police officers
have been shot dead in Tijuana, local authorities said on
Friday, the latest in a spate of police shootings along the
U.S. border in recent months.

The body of a homicide unit officer was found on Thursday,
dumped inside the trunk of an abandoned car with U.S. number
plates. He had been shot with three bullets.

Separately, a police officer working with an anti-kidnap
unit, was shot in the abdomen late on Thursday evening and died
in surgery a couple of hours later.

Gunmen have murdered a string of policemen in the border
area in recent months, including 20 active and former officers
killed in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas in 2005.

Tijuana has had 96 violent killings so far this year, of
which four were police officers.

Drug gang violence has been rife along the border with the
United States since President Vicente Fox declared "the mother
of all battles" on drug cartels in January 2005 and sent
hundreds of troops and federal police up to border cities.

In all, some 1,500 people have been shot, beaten or
suffocated to death in Mexico since last year as violent
cartels battle for control of the lucrative drugs trade.