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Escalating violence threatens Day of the {Dead} celebrations in Mexico’s northern Sonora state

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MEXICO CITY — What began as an ambush rapidly reworked right into a manhunt on Wednesday afternoon, when police in Mexico’s northern border state of Sonora repelled a freeway assault, then chased injured shooters into the mountains close by.

It was the second shootout in two days in a area the place escalating clashes between authorities and highly effective native gangs threaten to place a damper on the nation’s Day of the {Dead} celebrations.

Brokers from the state legal professional basic’s workplace had been attacked whereas driving between the cities of Santa Ana and Magdalena de Kino, 56 miles (89 kilometers) from the Arizona border, authorities mentioned in a publish on Facebook. The attackers left three assault rifles, a truck and smears of blood earlier than fleeing onto a mountain close by.

Law enforcement officials and the army proceed to seek for the assailants.

Instantly following the assault, the mayor of Santa Ana evacuated the native college and postponed all Day of the {Dead} celebrations till additional discover.

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The assault adopted a extra deadly confrontation within the neighboring city of Altar on Tuesday morning, when gangs shot and injured not less than 4 army personnel and a state police officer.

Initially Sonora’s public safety division took to X, the social media platform previously often called Twitter, to report one member of the army had been shot {dead}, earlier than rapidly deleting the publish.

Chatting with native reporters, María Dolores Del Río, head of Sonora’s safety division, mentioned the assault was a regrettable symptom of her workplace’s crackdown on organized crime within the area. Altar, specifically, is a well-known hub for migrant smuggling, usually coordinated by native gangs.

Pictures of the Altar assault circulating on social media seem to point out one fully burned army truck and one other civilian truck peppered with bullet holes and spray-painted “vtasma,” believed to be the decision signal of a violent wing of the highly effective Cazadores gang.

As tensions within the area rise, a number of different cities have cancelled their conventional Day of the {Dead} celebrations.

Benjamin Hill, a city 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Santa Ana, cancelled a parade and altar-decorating ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, then known as off all college buses heading north Wednesday. Subsequent Santa Ana indefinitely postponed celebrations deliberate for this weekend. In Altar, celebrations are going forward as deliberate.


Observe AP’s protection of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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