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July 12th, 2010
10:46 AM ET

Sunday shootout in Juarez leaves three cartel gunmen dead, police say

Nick Valencia
CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/07/11/mexico.juarez.gun.battle/t1larg.jpg caption="More than 5,000 people have been killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, since the drug turf wars began." width=300 height=169]

A predawn, hourlong gun battle - the latest volley in an escalating series of attacks on Mexican federal police by drug cartel hitmen - left three cartel gunmen dead Sunday in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a federal police spokesman told CNN.

Local reports said some of the suspected traffickers were carrying grenades. The gunfire could be heard by residents across the border in El Paso, Texas, local observers said.

"We believe these attacks are in direct response to recent seizures by the federal police force," federal police spokesman Ramon Salinas told CNN.

The gun battle Sunday pitted Ciudad Juarez municipal police and the federal police against drug cartel gunmen who attacked the officers, Salinas said.

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