Mexican security forces aborted an attempt to capture a son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman after finding themselves outgunned in a ferocious shootout with cartel henchmen that left at least eight people dead and more than 20 wounded, authorities said Friday. The gun battle Thursday paralyzed the capital of Mexico's Sinaloa state, Culiacan, and left the streets littered with burning vehicles, the AP reports. Residents took cover indoors as automatic gunfire raged outside. It was the third bloody and terrifying shootout in less than a week between security forces and cartel henchmen, raising questions about whether President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's policy of avoiding the use of force and focusing on social ills is working.
Authorities said 35 troops arrived at a home Thursday afternoon to arrest Ovidio Guzmán López on a 2018 extradition request from the US. They entered the home, where Guzman and three others were inside. Heavily armed men in greater force surrounded the house and also unleashed mayhem elsewhere, taking over toll booths and main roads into the city. Amid the chaos, inmates at a prison rioted, seized weapons from guards, and fled. Fifty-six prisoners escaped, and 49 were still at large Friday, according to Sinaloa Public Security Secretary Cristóbal Castañeda. Two guards were taken captive and later freed. The attacks were so brazen that Sinaloa cartel gunmen took several soldiers hostage and even attacked the housing complex where soldiers' wives and children live.
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