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Shootout in Mexican tourist town of Taxco leaves 15 dead

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • 15 dead in tourist town of Taxco
  • Citizen's complaint about presumed legal activities led soldiers to a house
  • Gunbattle lasted 40 minutes
  • Process of identifying bodies under way

Mexico City, Mexico (CNN) -- Fifteen suspects were killed Tuesday in a shootout with soldiers in the tourist town of Taxco, Mexico, the national defense secretary said in a news release.

A citizen's complaint about presumed illicit activities at a house led authorities to dispatch soldiers to a house in the town, which is located about 100 miles southwest of Mexico City, the release said.

Upon arriving at the house at 10:10 a.m. local time, they were greeted by gunfire and, acting in self-defense, responded with gunfire of their own, it said.

The battle continued for about 40 minutes, after which authorities determined that 15 "aggressors" were dead, and 16 long guns, six pistols, two home-made explosive devices and a vehicle were confiscated, it said.

The process of identifying the bodies was under way, it said.

The announcement of the killings came shortly before President Felipe Calderon, whose battle against drug trafficking has been a priority since he assumed office in December 2006, addressed the nation.

While not referring to the Taxco shooting, Calderon said, "As I said from the first, this is a fight that will take time and cost resources and human lives."

"Our future is in play ... we are going to continue ahead and we will win this fight," he said in a nationally televised address.