9 Dead in Drug Gang Shootout in Guatemala

April 4, 2008

GUATEMALA CITY – At least nine people died and seven more were wounded during a shootout between alleged groups of international drug traffickers on the outskirts of a coastal resort in eastern Guatemala.

National Police spokesman Faustino Sánchez said that the confrontation occurred on March 25 at Kilometer 91 on the highway to the Atlantic coast, near the Valle Dorado resort.

“Apparently, this was a confrontation between international groups of drug traffickers. They used assault rifles and grenades. The initial report is of nine people dead, seven wounded, two vehicles burned and six (people) captured, among them two Mexicans,” he said.

Dozens of police officers, among them detectives from the Anti-drug Unit, are combing the area where the shootout took place looking for “more than 12 people” who are said to have participated in the clash.

Sánchez said that the identities of the dead and injured have not yet been established and authorities “still don’t know the details of the confrontation.”

“Our units have captured six men who participated in the confrontation, seizing from them six AR-15 assault rifles and six automatic pistols,” Sánchez said.

The shootout occurred in Zacapa province, on the border with Honduras, in an area that Guatemalan security forces say is used by international drug organizations to smuggle drugs.

 

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