MEXICO — A Mexican army patrol was surrounded and attacked in the town of Altar, the Mexican president announced on Monday.
Altar, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Sasabe, Arizona, has long been known as a transit point for immigrant trafficking and is believed to be controlled by a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said soldiers arrested three suspects on Sunday but were quickly surrounded by 10 or 15 pickup trucks and 60 gunmen.
The attackers outnumbered the soldiers by 10 times, López Obrador said.
He said the attackers offered the soldiers $500,000 to release one of the detained suspects, and when the soldiers refused, a gunfight broke out and one soldier was killed.
Videos posted by Altar residents on social media showed a raging firefight, apparently including the sounds of automatic gunfire.
Sonora Gov. Alfonso Durazo wrote in his social media accounts that four suspects were arrested for possession of weapons.