Hundreds of armed vigilantes have taken control of a town in a western Mexico state plagued by drug cartels after clashes with an armed group that left three people dead, officials said.
The Michoacan state government said in a statement that the “self-defense” units seized the town hall and main square of Tancitaro on Saturday.
Some 400 vigilantes kicked out the municipal police and took over security in the town, a source in the CISEN intelligence agency told AFP.
Before taking Tancitaro, the self-defense force exchanged fire with suspected organized crime members in the nearby town of Pareo, said Marco Vinicio Aguilera, an official in the state prosecutor’s office.
“Three bodies belonging to members of an armed group were recovered," he said, adding that two vigilantes were wounded in the clash.
The government said the vigilantes were from the towns of Buenavista and Tepalcatepec. Soldiers and state and federal police were deployed to the area.
Several Michoacan towns have taken up arms this year, fed up with the murders, kidnappings and extortion committed by the Knights Templar drug cartel.
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