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Security Forces Forced To Free El Chapo’s Son Ovidio Guzmán As Mexican Cartel Attacks

MeXICO CITY, Oct 18— Intense gunbattles erupted in the Mexican city of Culiacán after security forces arrested the son of the former cartel kingpin Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, sparking a wave of attacks by thew heavily armed cartel fighters who surrounded forces and made them free one of drug lord Guzman’s sons.

Mexican armed forces had managed to capture Ovidio Guzmán, one of the jailed drug lord’s sons, on Thursday afternoon, government officials told local media. But after hours of gunbattles, it appeared Guzmán, who is believed to have taken a key role in the Sinaloa cartel after his father’s 2017 extradition, had been freed for unexplained reasons.

Security Minister Alfonso Durazo, flanked by Mexico’s military high command, said a patrol of some 30 National Guardsmen and soldiers had come under fire from a house. The patrol took control of the house and found Guzmán as well as three others.

But then the patrol was surrounded by larger forces of cartel gunmen, while other groups of gunmen attacked civilians throughout the city, “generating panic,” Mr. Durazo said.
The patrol was quickly overpowered by cartel gunmen, however, and the decision was taken to withdraw to protect the lives of the National Guard and restore calm in the city, where gangsters had set up roadblocks and were unleashing heavy automatic gunfire, Durazo said.

“The decision was taken to retreat from the house, without Guzman to try to avoid more violence in the area and preserve the lives of our personnel and recover calm in the city,” Durazo said.

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