An hours-long gun battle in the Mexican border town of Matamoros left at least eight people dead, including the leader of a major drug gang and a newspaper reporter.

The battle among two drug cartels, police and the Mexican navy closed down the city for the better part of Friday, including all three bridges that connect Matamoros to Brownsville, Texas.

The journalist who was killed was Carlos Alberto Guajardo. Sources with knowledge of his death claim he was killed by soldiers who were chasing the drug traffickers.

For a local view of the story, check out the Brownsville Herald’s coverage of the gunfight. –JCL

The New York Times:

The Mexican authorities said Friday that a leader of the Gulf drug gang had been killed in Matamoros during a day marked by street fighting between soldiers and gunmen that paralyzed the city, which is across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Tex.

The gang leader, Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, who American and Mexican officials say took control of the cartel after his brother Osiel Cárdenas Guillén was arrested in 2003, was killed by Mexican marines, according to a statement by Alejandro Poiré, the security spokesman for the government.

Three other gang members were also killed, the statement said, and the Mexican Navy reported that two marines and a soldier died during the six-hour gun battle.

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