Car bomb escalates Mexican drug war
car bomb, rising grenade use worsen cartel violence
JUÁREZ, Chihuahua — A drug cartel has used a car bomb for the first time in Mexico’s decades-long fight against traffickers, setting a deadly trap against federal police in a city across the border from Texas, the mayor of Juárez said Friday.
Mayor Jose Reyes said federal police have confirmed to him that a car bomb was used in the attack that killed three people Thursday.
It was the first time a drug cartel has used a bomb to attack Mexican security forces, marking an escalation in the country’s raging drug war.
Federal police and paramedics were lured to the scene by a phone call reporting that shots were fired at a major intersection and that a police officer lay wounded, Reyes said.
As the paramedics were helping the wounded man, a parked car exploded, he said.
Reyes said authorities later determined that the wounded man wasn’t a police officer, although he was wearing a fake uniform. The man died in the blast, along with a federal police officer and a medical technician.
Brig. Gen. Eduardo Zarate said that up to 22 pounds of explosives might have been A police officer runs after a car bomb attack Thursday evening on police and paramedics in the Mexican city of Juárez. The blast killed three people, including a policeman. used, although investigators were still trying to determine what type.
He said the bomb might have been detonated remotely with a cell phone.
Federal police said the attack was in retaliation for the arrest of a top leader of the drug gang La Linea, Jesús Acosta Guerrero, earlier in the day.
The car bomb demonstrates the growing boldness and military sophistication of Mexico’s drug traffickers.
“We have to change the way we operate,” Reyes warned. “We’ve started changing all our protocols to include bomb
situations.” the grenades confiscated and traced in Mexico are more than 20 years old.