4/18/15, "Gun Battles Rock Mexican Border City," ndtv.com, AFP, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
"Gunfights erupted in broad daylight Friday in a Mexican city across the
US border plagued by drug cartel violence and several vehicles,
including a school bus, were set on fire.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the clashes in
Reynosa, a city of 610,000 located across from the Texas town of
McAllen, but a US consulate warned Americans to keep off the Reynosa
Mexican authorities suspect the gun battles, which began in the early
afternoon, are related to a power struggle within the Gulf cartel, an
official in the Tamaulipas state prosecutors office told AFP.
"We don't know if there are victims because we can't reach the locations (of shootings) for the moment," the official said.
Gunmen blocked streets with vehicles, setting several ablaze, including a
school bus, the official said. The tactic is used to prevent rival
factions or government forces reaching the area.
The local daily El Manana reported that US authorities temporarily closed two border crossings.
The US consulate in the city of Matamoros, which oversees consular
affairs in Reynosa, issued a message saying it "has learned of several
firefights and roadblocks throughout the city" and urged Americans to
"use extreme caution and to remain in-doors."
The city government issued a "red light" alert on its Twitter account, urging residents to stay away from some areas.
Reynosa residents posted pictures on Twitter of burning vehicles and people lying on the ground in panic.
The government has dealt blows to the Gulf cartel in recent years with
the arrest of several leaders. Authorities have blamed a surge of
violence in Tamaulipas this year on the gang's infighting.
The gang has also battled its former allies, the Zetas cartel, for control of drug trafficking in Tamaulipas."