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5 gunmen killed in shootout with soldiers

Five gunmen died in a shootout with soldiers in the border city of Reynosa early Friday, the latest of a series of clashes between troops and alleged drug traffickers in northeastern Mexico, authorities said.

Assailants on Tuesday set up roadblocks near army garrisons and opened fire on checkpoints in several cities of the northeastern states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, setting off shootouts that killed 18 attackers and wounded one soldier.

The attacks are occurring as the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, the cartel's former hit men, fight over control of northeastern Mexico. Experts say drug lords are trying to get military patrols out of the way of their bloody battle.

Elsewhere in Mexico, at least 12 people were killed in drug-related violence Thursday and Friday.

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