Gun fight in Sinaloa

LA Times/Houston Chronicle:

Seven Mexican federal agents looking for an arms cache died early Tuesday in a shootout with gunmen in the northern state of Sinaloa, officials said.

The agents came under fire when they went to search a home in Culiacan, the state capital. Four other agents were wounded.

At least one gunman was reported killed during the confrontation, which came as a wave of drug-related violence has washed over Mexico. Two suspects were arrested, the federal Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

Authorities seized seven AK-47 assault rifles, dozens of ammunition clips and 500 bullets. A photograph released by authorities after the shooting of the two-story house showed its white exterior peppered with bullet holes.

...

Calderon argues that the ferocity of the attacks against the government is a sign that the administration is making headway in an anti-crime campaign he often refers to as a "war."

In Sinaloa, for example, troops and police have captured several mid- and upper-level gang members and seized drug shipments and more than 100 aircraft over the past 18 months.

...

Mexican authorities should have escalated their attack on the compound by the use of RPG's or rockets. Assaulting a defended position with equal weapons systems is a good way to lose men. I think that Mexican authorities can expect the drug insurgents to do their own escalation. I would not be surprised to see the drug warriors adopt the use of high powered sniper rifles like those used by the US and British military.

The drug insurgents are finding themselves in a ever more desperate position and will want to extend the range of their weapons to avoid capture or death. Mexican police and army units need to be ready with their own escalation of force.

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