January 27, 2006

Four dead in Acapulco drug shootout

ACAPULCO, Mexico (Reuters) - At least four people died in
the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco in a shootout on Friday
between police and drug hitmen firing assault weapons and
throwing grenades, according to witnesses.

A white sport utility vehicle attacked by grenades stood in
flames and four bodies were left lying in the street, one of
them on fire, the witnesses said. Paramedics took two badly
injured men, one of them a policeman, to the hospital.

The incident occurred on the edge of the tourist zone of
the city, which has been hit by a series of drug murders in the
last six months.

El Universal newspaper said on its online edition an
Acapulco police chief died in the clash, but the state
government denied the report.

Residents ran into homes and shops as shot rang out.
Soldiers later arrived at the scene.

Last Friday, drug hitmen mowed down three people in a
drive-by shooting in an outlying district of Acapulco, a
Pacific coastal city that is popular with U.S. tourists.

Three more people were killed in drug feuds in the city
earlier this week.

More than 1,000 people died in drug killings in Mexico last
year, mostly in a fight between the Gulf cartel in northeastern
Mexico and an alliance of traffickers from the western state of

Violence has broken out in Acapulco and on the U.S. border
again in recent weeks after a lull at the end of 2005.