List of 28 police officers threatened by name in list attached to 4 dead bodies.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO -- Four municipal police were killed and one wounded in simultaneous attacks at various locations in this violent metropolis just across the border from El Paso, Texas, authorities said.
The attacks occurred around midnight Sunday when cartel hit men fired shots at a police substation inside Ciudad Juarez General Hospital, a security cabin at a residential community, a police station in the southwestern part of the city and a patrol car near one of the U.S.-Mexico border crossings.
Two officers were killed at the hospital, one inside the patrol car and the fourth at the Aldama precinct house, the city's Public Safety Office said.
In response to these attacks, the municipal police instituted a rule on Monday requiring officers patrol the city in caravans of between two and four vehicles.
Separately, authorities said that on Monday they found four bodies a few meters (yards) from the Juarez command post of the Chihuahua state police, together with a message threatening 28 police officers by name.
The bodies were handcuffed and had their eyes blindfolded. Another victim, identified as Gerardo Padilla, 25, had been decapitated; a Santa Claus hat was on his head, which had been placed between his legs.
Ciudad Juarez is Mexico's most violent city, accounting for 1,400 of the more than 5,400 gangland murders reported nationwide so far this year.
Authorities attribute the carnage to battles over smuggling routes to the United States and internal power struggles within Mexico's powerful drug cartels.
Since taking office, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed more than 30,000 soldiers and federal police to nearly a dozen states in a bid to crush the cartels.
The operation, however, has failed to put a dent in the violence due, according to experts, to the drug gangs' ability to buy off the police and even high-ranking prosecutors.