Mexican security forces on Sunday killed seven more members of a presumed cartel assault force that rolled into a town near the Texas border and staged an hour-long attack, officials said, putting the overall death toll at 20. The Coahuila state government said in a statement that lawmen aided by helicopters were still chasing remnants of the force that arrived in a convoy of pickup trucks and attacked the city hall of Villa Union on Saturday. Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme said late Sunday afternoon that authorities had determined the casualty count from the gunbattles stood at 14 gunmen dead and four police officers killed. He said two civilians were slain by gunmen after being abducted, the AP reports. The town is about 35 miles south-southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas.
Francisco Contreras, an official in the state security agency, said that the two slain civilians were a firefighter and an engineer who worked for the municipality. He said a second firefighter was missing.The reason for the military-style attack remained unclear. Cartels have been contending for control of smuggling routes in northern Mexico, but there was no immediate evidence that a rival cartel had been targeted in Villa Union. The governor said the armed group—at least some in military style garb—stormed the town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks, attacking local government offices and prompting state and federal forces to intervene. Bullet-riddled trucks left abandoned in the streets were marked CDN— Spanish initials of the Cartel of the Northeast gang.
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