Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico police chief killed in Nuevo Laredo

The chief of police in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo has been shot dead along with at least two of his bodyguards, officials say.

Former military officer Manuel Farfan had been in the job in Tamaulipas state for only 33 days.

He was reportedly ambushed by gunmen as he was being driven home.

Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Texas, is a battleground for rival gangs vying to control drug smuggling routes into the US.

General Farfan was one of at least eight former military officers recently appointed as local police commanders in the state.

Tamaulipas in north-eastern Mexico is one of the states worst-hit by the rise in drug-related violence, with 1,209 people killed last year, according to government statistics.

More than 34,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence since December 2006, when president Felipe Calderon began deploying the army to fight the drugs gangs.

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