CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – The number of confirmed deaths in Wednesday’s armed clash between criminal outfits in northern Mexico is 14 and not 26, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
Police reported the higher figure before they realized that some of those who had been shot were still alive, AG Office spokesman Felix Gonzalez told EFE.
“Officially, there are 14 people dead” and 12 wounded, he said, though adding that the death toll may “rise significantly.”
“The number can still change because (police) operations are being conducted” in areas where they fear they will find more bodies, Gonzalez said.
The battle that pit gunmen from the La Linea organization against a cell of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel took place near Las Varas in the highland municipality of Madera, 536 kilometers (333 miles) southwest of Ciudad Juarez.
Security forces seized 20 guns and 10 vehicles at the scene and three gunmen – two from La Linea – are in custody, Gonzalez said.
Police “were met by gunfire” when they reached the site, but soon managed to bring the situation under control, Chihuahua Security Commissioner Oscar Alberto Aparicio said.
“These criminals were the ones who cowardly killed” two state police officers in Las Varas last week, the commissioner said.