US Warns Tourists of 'Small-Unit Combat' at Mexico Border

Penny Starr
CNSNews.com
Monday, May 19, 2008

The U.S. State Department has issued an alert, warning travelers that the "equivalent to military small-unit combat" is taking place across the southern U.S. border in Mexico and that Americans are being kidnapped and murdered there.

"Recent Mexican army and police force conflicts with heavily-armed narcotics cartels have escalated to levels equivalent to military small-unit combat and have included use of machine guns and fragmentation grenades," said the State Department alert.

"Confrontations have taken place in numerous towns and cities in northern Mexico, including Tijuana in the Mexican state of Baja California, and Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua," reads the alert. "The situation in northern Mexico remains very fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements there cannot be predicted."

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The State Department particularly urged that Americans be wary when traveling in that part of Mexico closest to the United States. "U.S. citizens are urged to be especially alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region," said the alert.

Murder and kidnapping of Americans has become routine in Tijuana, which sits just across the border from San Diego, California, according to the State Department, and sometimes heavily armed attackers wear the uniforms of the Mexican police or military.

"Dozens of U.S. citizens were kidnapped and/or murdered in Tijuana in 2007," says the alert. "Public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours near shopping areas. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles."

The alert also warns Americans to avoid areas where drugs and prostitution are evident and to "refrain from displaying expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money and other valuable items."

Full article here.

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