At least seven dead in Mexico clashes

At least seven people were killed Sunday in clashes between suspected criminals, security forces and citizen security groups in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, officials told AFP.

"The last report that we have is the seven people have been killed in gun battles, but that number is certain to rise," said a state government spokesman Julio Hernandez.

Officials said the confrontations took place in the towns of Buenavista and Tepalcatepec, where armed citizens' patrols have formed in a bid to deter and counter criminal gangs.

Such groups, which aim to counter what is perceived as an ineffectual government response to gang violence, have cropped up around the country, including in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Michoacan.


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