Six police officers were killed and four others wounded Sunday in the northern Mexico border state of Nuevo Leon after they were ambushed by a presumed drug gang equipped with 10 homemade armored cars and heavy weaponry.
Nuevo Leon state police said the patrol was outnumbered in the pre-dawn attack on a highway leading to the Colombia border crossing. The force said the officers performed "heroically" in the attack.
State prosecutors said the dead included one female officer. There was no immediate information on the identity of the attackers. But the nearby city of Nuevo Laredo has long been dominated by the violent Northeast cartel.
The border between Texas and Nuevo León is about nine miles long and has one crossing at the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge, which is about 20 miles northwest of Laredo.
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In April, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shut down commercial vehicle traffic from Mexico until governors from bordering Mexican states signed security pacts to enhance security screenings on the southern side of the border that would curtail trafficking. Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda was the first of four Mexican governors to sign Abbott's pact.
Nuevo Leon suffered heavy violence under the old Zetas cartel in the last decade. After quieting somewhat, it has seen an uptick in killings so far this year.