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Page last updated at 21:51 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 22:51 UK

Mexico extends army's drugs fight

By Duncan Kennedy
BBC News, Mexico City

Extra Mexican troops have been sent to Ciudad Juarez
Extra troops have been deployed in regions where the cartels operate

The Mexican government says the army will be used for at least another two years in the fight against the country's drug cartels.

Around 25,000 troops are currently involved in a nationwide battle with the drug gangs, along with several thousand federal police officers.

The Mexican Attorney General, Medina Mora, has said he sees no quick end to the violence.

Nearly 1,400 people have died so far this year in drug gang related murders.

That is nearly 50% more compared with the same period last year. This year's total includes 450 police officers and other government officials.

Mr Mora said the use of the army was working and that the power of the cartels was being curbed.

He said the violence was a sign the cartels were fighting for control of what he called a smaller pie.

But others are more sceptical and say the cartels are far from being controlled.

This week seven more police officers were murdered. Two weeks ago the director of Mexico's federal police was killed.


SEE ALSO
Police killed in Mexico drug raid
28 May 08 |  Americas
Mexico drug-related killings soar
24 May 08 |  Americas
Gunmen kill top Mexican policemen
11 May 08 |  Americas
Top policeman shot dead in Mexico
08 May 08 |  Americas
Mexicans seal gang war hospital
30 Apr 08 |  Americas
Mexico captures 'key drug lord'
13 Mar 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Mexico
01 Apr 08 |  Country profiles

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