San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Drug War

Death toll in Mexico drug cartel's attack on chopper rises to 8

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — The death toll from a Mexican drug cartel’s rocket-propelled grenade attack on an army helicopter rose to eight Thursday after a policewoman and a soldier succumbed to their wounds.

The interior ministry said the federal police officer died six days after the Cougar helicopter was brought down in a rural area of the western state of Jalisco.

She was one of two officers wounded in the attack by the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, a first by a Mexican gang against such a military aircraft.

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Ten other soldiers were hurt but one of them has died from his wounds, a federal official said. Six other soldiers were found dead in the fiery crash after the attack.

Authorities say the downing of the helicopter was part of a violent reaction by the cartel to an operation launched on May 1 to dismantle the gang.

Gun battles were reported and the cartel burned dozens of vehicles, banks and gasoline stations across Jalisco state. Apart from the helicopter deaths, officials say eight gang suspects and a state police officer were killed in the violence.

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