Shootout with military kills seven traffickers

Authorities in Mexico say seven suspected drug traffickers have been killed in a gunfight with army troops in the western state of Michoacan.

News reports say the gun battle erupted early Tuesday in the town of Tacambaro, as troops patrolled the area and encountered the traffickers. Tacambaro is south of the state capital, Morelia.

Michoacan is the base for the drug cartel known as La Familia and has been the site of bloody, drug-related violence. It is also the region where a drug gang calling itself Knights Templar has emerged as a spinoff from La Familia.

Michoacan is the home state of President Felipe Calderón, who launched a military crackdown on Mexico’s drug cartels after taking office in late 2006. Since then, more than 41,000 people have died in violence linked to the gangs.

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