Mexican police official, bodyguard shot dead at restaurant

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gunmen today opened fire in a Mexico City restaurant, killing a top police official in charge of monitoring the country's illegal drug trade, as well as one of his bodyguards, Mexican officials said. The attack is the latest waged against authorities attempting to fight Mexico's powerful drug cartels.

Security officials in Mexico City say the attack occurred as Igor Labastida Calderón, commander of the federal police's Traffic and Contraband division, was eating lunch with one of his bodyguards, Jose Maria Ochoa. According to Minerva Amado, spokesperson for the attorney general's office, two unknown subjects got out of a black vehicle, entered the restaurant, and opened fire on Labastida Calderón.

Reports differ on who else was injured in the attack. Amado said two other bodyguards were injured and hospitalized, while Mexico City newspaper El Universal reports that three civilians were injured.

The motive for the attack remains unclear. No arrests have been made so far, as police continue to search for the assailants. Federal police have refused to comment.

President Felipe Calderón has sent over 20,000 troops throughout Mexico in an attempt to take back areas controlled by the country's drug cartels. Since Calderón took office in December 2006, more than 4,000 people have been killed by these drug cartels, allegedly including federal police chief Édgar Millán Gómez, whose May death was attributed to the Sinaloa Cartel.


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