Nine killed in Mexico clash

A shootout early Thursday between Mexican troops and suspected kidnappers left nine dead in the eastern state of Veracruz, local authorities said.

Veracruz: A shootout early Thursday between Mexican troops and suspected kidnappers left nine dead in the eastern state of Veracruz, local authorities said.

A hostage was freed after the clash near the state capital Xalapa, 290 kilometers (180 miles) east of Mexico City, the state government said.

It said the nine killed were "suspected delinquents" who fled in their vehicle after being stopped by police in Banderilla, a locality within the Xalapa metropolitan area.
Troops from the Mexican army and marines responded to the incident and surrounded the suspects, setting off the firefight.

The state government said two stolen vehicles and rifles were recovered at the scene.
Xalapa has been the scene of escalating violence and clashes between authorities and local members of the Zetas drug gang.

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