Three police officers have been killed in a shootout with two other fellow officers at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport, media reports citing officials said early Tuesday.
The shootout reportedly occurred when the three deceased police officers attempted to arrest two of their fellow officers suspected of involvement in a cocaine trafficking ring.
"When the alleged perpetrators were surrounded by the police, shots were fired against the federal agents," the country's security ministry said in a statement.
While two police officers were killed on the spot, the third one succumbed to his injuries later. The two suspects, who have since been identified, managed to flee the scene and are currently being sought by the police.
According to officials, the police operation which resulted in the shootout was initiated after an 18-month long investigation suggested the two suspects were among corrupt federal and local officials involved a drug trafficking ring operating at the airport.
Mexico has been plagued with drug-related violence in recent years, mainly due to fierce turf-wars between rival drug cartels for the control of lucrative smuggling routes to the United States.
The Mexican government says that more than 45,000 people have died in drug-related violence in the country since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug gangs after taking office in December 2006.
Besides fighting drug cartels, Calderon has deployed thousands of troops across the country to check drug-related violence and launched a massive anti-corruption drive named 'Operation Clean-up' to identify and punish public servants having links with drug cartels.
by RTT Staff Writer
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