TRES MARIAS, Mexico - Two US officials shot and wounded by Mexican federal police just south of the capital were CIA officers, security sources say, and the attack could badly hurt US-Mexico cooperation in a war against drug cartels if found to be a deliberate ambush.
The pair of experienced officers were on their way to a Mexican Marine base on Friday, working with local authorities on a training mission, when federal police riddled their armored van bearing diplomatic plates with bullets.
A dozen federal police officers detained and questioned over the attack have been ordered held in custody for 40 days, and in initial statements to federal prosecutors they claimed they confused the Americans for criminals.
However, eyewitnesses at a bend in the road outside the small town of Tres Marias told Reuters the gunmen were dressed in plain clothes and carried rifles. They said they pursued the Americans firing from unmarked cars trying to box them in and on foot -- a classic style of gangland hits in Mexico.