Mexico City, April 8 (IANS/EFE) Fifteen police officers were killed and five wounded in an ambush on a highway in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, officials said Tuesday.
Jalisco Security Commissioner Alejandro Solorio said the attack on the officers was retaliation for the arrests of 15 suspects in connection with an attempt to kill him on March 30 in the city of Zapopan.
The 15 suspects have been turned over to prosecutors, Solorio said, adding that the handover triggered the ambush.
The attack on Solorio was staged in response to the March 23 killing in the city of Zacoalco de Torres of Heriberto Acevedo Cardenas and two associates, the Jalisco attorney general’s office said.
The ambush occurred around 2.50 p.m. on Monday on the Mascota-Las Palmas highway at the crossroads near Soyatan, a community outside the city of San Sebastian del Oeste.
Several vehicles were torched on the highway, forcing officials to close the highway all day on Monday.
The murder of Zacoalco de Torres police chief Miguel Angel Caicedo Vargas on Monday is also linked to the ambush, Solorio said after a meeting with state security officials.
The five wounded police officers, one of whom is a woman, are being treated at hospitals in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, where they are listed in stable condition, Solorio said.
Federal gendarmes engaged gunmen in a shootout on March 19 in Ocotlan, leaving 11 people, including five officers, three criminals and three civilians, dead.
The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion and the La Resistencia gang, which formed an alliance with the Zetas drug cartel in September 2011, have been fighting for control of Jalisco.