Vigilantes seize town in western Mexico (Battling The "Knights Templar").
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11/17/2013 07:10 PM
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Vigilantes seize town in western MexicoQuoting: Anonymous Coward 50146002
3 hours ago
A member of the Citizens' Self-Protection Police stand guard in Aguililla, Michoacan state, Mexico on July 25, 2013
A member of the Citizens' Self-Protection Police stand guard in Aguililla, Michoacan state, Mexico on July 25, 2013 (AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)
Morelia (Mexico) (AFP) - Hundreds of armed vigilantes have taken control of a town in a western Mexico state plagued by drug cartels after clashes with an armed group that left three people dead, officials said.
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The Michoacan state government said in a statement that the "self-defense" units seized the town hall and main square of Tancitaro on Saturday.
Some 400 vigilantes kicked out the municipal police and took over security in the town, a source in the CISEN intelligence agency told AFP.
Before taking Tancitaro, the self-defense force exchanged fire with suspected organized crime members in the nearby town of Pareo, said Marco Vinicio Aguilera, an official in the state prosecutor's office.
"Three bodies belonging to members of an armed group were recovered," he said, adding that two vigilantes were wounded in the clash.
The government said the vigilantes were from the towns of Buenavista and Tepalcatepec. Soldiers and state and federal police were deployed to the area.
Several Michoacan towns have taken up arms this year, fed up with the murders, kidnappings and extortion committed by the Knights Templar drug cartel.
President Enrique Pena Nieto deployed thousands of troops to the state in May and the military took over the power of Lazaro Cardenas this month, but violence has continued.
Late last month, the vigilantes tried to take control of the town of Apatzingan, a Templar bastion, but the army barred them from going in with weapons. Once they entered the town unarmed, they were met with gunfire.
Shortly after, suspected cartel members attacked state-run power stations in several towns with Molotov cocktails on October 27, leaving more than 400,000 people without electricity for several hours.
[link to news.yahoo.com]
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