MEXICO CITY — Soldiers battled gunmen for nearly an hour Tuesday on the outskirts of the popular tourist town of Taxco, killing 15 suspects as escalating bloodshed puts June in line to become the deadliest month yet in Mexico's drug war.
Troops investigating suspicious activity came under fire from gunmen holed up in a house, the Defense Department said. It said no soldiers were hurt in the 40-minute shootout. Twenty guns and two homemade explosives were recovered, it added.
The battle in Guerrero state came one day after 12 federal police officers were killed in an ambush in neighboring Michoacan state, a stronghold of drug activity. It was unclear if the two shootouts were related.
Taxco police, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told The Associated Press that the men killed Tuesday were suspected of being tied to Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a reputed US-born capo known as "La Barbie." Mexican security forces have detained several alleged Valdez henchmen recently.