02:38 GMT +325 June 2019
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    Shootouts Send Mexican City Into Chaos as Criminals Try to Free Their Boss

    © AFP 2019 / JULIO CESAR AGUILAR
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    A violent encounter between armed groups and federal authorities brought a northeast Mexican city on the border with the United States into a standstill, according to local media.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Clashes that began early Friday in Reynosa were purported to be a rescue attempt of a criminal gang leader arrested earlier in the day, the El Universal daily reports.

    The publication goes on to say official sources confirmed the arrest of Jose Huge Rodriguez Sanchez, identified as the leader of the Gulf Cartel, and declared the surrounding premises a "high risk" area.

    The Gulf Cartel is believed to be one of the leading violent organized criminal groups in Mexico with an international drug trafficking network.

    Intermittent shootouts, several burnt vehicles and barricades set up across various neighborhoods in Reynosa prompted the US Consulate to issue a warning for its citizens in the area to exercise caution and remain indoors.

    Although local authorities regained control of the situation late in the afternoon, gunshots could be heard into the evening.

    El Universal added reports of casualties and arrests are expected within the next hours.

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    shootout, Gulf Cartel, Jose Huge Rodriguez Sanchez, Reynosa, Mexico
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