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Mexico Army Fights Gang in Tourist Town, Killing as Many as 15

Mexican soldiers confronted an armed group today in the city of Taxco, killing as many as 15 people, the state attorney general said.

“They’re verifying between 14 and 15 people killed in this clash,” Guerrero state Attorney General Albertico Guinto said, according to an audio recording of his remarks e-mailed by his office.

He said the soldiers were carrying out a search operation in the town, which is popular with tourists for its historic role in the silver trade.

Separately, a police chief and his 26-year-old son were killed early this morning in Cuernavaca, about 50 miles from Mexico City, from gunshots to the head, according to an e-mailed statement from the Morelos state attorney general’s office.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has said he won’t back down from his strategy of confronting drug cartels with army and police personnel, even as violence spiked this month. In a letter dated June 13, Calderon defended his four-year war on organized crime, saying the fight is a necessary sacrifice and an “ethical obligation.”

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