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Two arrested in deadly attacks on Mexican police, soldiers

  • Story Highlights
  • One attacker was killed in police shootout during arrests in Michoacan state
  • Attacks were in retribution for capture of a ranking La Familia drug cartel member
  • Notimex news agency: Eighteen federal officers were wounded
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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- Two suspects have been arrested in this weekend's coordinated attacks in at least 10 Mexican cities that killed three federal police and two soldiers, federal authorities said.

Federal police stations across Michoacan were attacked throughout Saturday.

The attacks occurred after the arrest of Arnoldo Rueda Medina, a ranking member of La Familia Michoacan.

One attacker was killed in a shootout with police during the arrests Sunday in Michoacan state, said the federal Secretariat for Public Security.

In addition to the five deaths Saturday, 18 federal officers were wounded, the state-run Notimex news agency reported, citing federal police official Rodolfo Cruz Lopez.

The attacks were in retribution for the capture early Saturday of Arnoldo Rueda Medina, a high-ranking member of La Familia Michoacan drug cartel, Cruz said.

Cartel members first attacked the federal police station in Morelia to try to gain freedom for Rueda, the public security office said. When that failed, drug gangs attacked police installations in other Michoacan cities: Zitacuaro, Zamora, Lazaro Cardenas, Apatzingan, La Piedad and Huetamo.

Other rifle and grenade attacks took place in Guerrero and Guanajuato states, both of which border Michoacan, but no one was injured.

The three officers were killed in Zitacuaro, police official Eduardo Moran told CNN en Español. The officers were attending to a motor vehicle accident when they were shot, Cruz said.

In Zamora, the two soldiers -- a sergeant and a corporal -- were shot by men in a passing car as they walked to their headquarters.

Michoacan is in west-central Mexico, on the Pacific coast.

Arrested Sunday were Antonion Farfan Sanchez, 20, and Rafael Antonio Gomez Perez, 25, authorities said. Police said they seized several weapons, including three AK-47 assault rifles, a .38-caliber pistol and ammunition for the firearms. Also seized were a bulletproof vest and a 2009 Suzuki pickup truck.

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