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Five police officers gunned down in Mexico

From the Associated Press:

Five state police officers were killed in the western Mexican state of Jalisco by men who lobbed grenades and fired more than 800 bullets, officials said Thursday.

The officers came under fire Wednesday night as they prepared to search a car they had just stopped in the town of Lagos de Moreno outside the city of Guadalajara, the Jalisco state public safety department said in a statement.

The assailants arrived in two pickup trucks. Two bystanders were wounded, the department said.

Jalisco's public-safety secretary, Luis Carlos Najera, said authorities suspect the Zetas, a group of hit men tied to the Gulf cartel. The Zetas have a history of violence against Jalisco police, he said.

Meanwhile in Ciudad Juarez, across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas, two state police officers were shot to death along a busy avenue by men in another car, said Alejandro Pariente, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutor.

Hours after the attack Wednesday, a wreath was left outside the police headquarters in Ciudad Juarez, Pariente said. It was accompanied by a threatening message and the names of the two slain officers and other policemen.

No suspects were named.

Click here for more posts from Mexico and here for our drug-war coverage, "Mexico Under Siege," with more reports on the country's drug-related violence and troubled police forces.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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