EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Two police officers were killed in Juarez during a rash of attacks targeting cops on Wednesday, Mexican authorities told Border Report.
One of the dead was a municipal police officer patrolling outside a natural gas company office on 16th of September Avenue in Downtown Juarez. The other fatality involves a Chihuahua state police officer who was part of a squad on patrol in a southeast Juarez neighborhood, Juarez authorities said.
The Office of Mayor Armando Cabada confirmed the death of a male municipal police officer and said the Mayor would be issuing a statement later.
The other deceased officer works for the Chihuahua state police and died as a result of wounds sustained when his squad came under fire, a state police source said.
The source said six armed attacks have taken place between Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon targeting uniformed police officers. The source declined to say if other officers have been wounded. The source confirmed that at least two civilians suffered minors wounds when an ambulance carrying one of the wounded cops came under attack near Juarez General Hospital.
Earlier in the day, Deputy state Attorney General Jorge Nava said murders have spiked in Juarez recently due to “a fracture within a cell of organized crime operating in the city.” As of Wednesday, Juarez had recorded 105 homicides in March and a total of 340 for the year.
Nava declined to name the group carrying out the attacks. However, days earlier he had mentioned that violence had spiked since jailed “Mexicles” gang leader Jesus Eduardo “El Lalo” Soto Rodriguez was transferred from Juarez’s Cereso 3 prison to a federal penitentiary in southern Mexico.
Soto had allegedly been operating from inside the prison and an earlier attempt to move him elsewhere resulted in a rash of murders and car burnings throughout the city.