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Police commander reportedly beheaded and her 2 bodyguards killed in highway attack in Mexico

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A state police officer and her two bodyguards were killed in a highway attack in Mexico’s violent western state of Michoacan, security officials said Monday.

Michoacan’s state security agency said on social media that three members of the state Civil Guard had died in the line of duty Sunday night. One of them, Cristal García Hurtado, was a regional police commander. Local press reported that she had been decapitated.

“We strongly condemn the cowardly murder of our fellow Civil Guards, who, in the line of police duty, were cruelly attacked,” the social media post said, which identified the other two victims as Itzel Madero Larrea and David de Jesus Espinoza Valdez.

The attack occurred on the highway connecting the towns of Patzcuaro and Uruapan.

The Michoacan state prosecutor’s office, which is investigating, did not immediately comment.

Michoacan has been particularly hard hit by gang turf wars, with the Jalisco New Generation cartel fighting a local gang, the Viagras, for control. Thousands of residents have been displaced as organized crime experiments with drone attacks and improvised explosive devices.

Earlier this month, three farmers were killed by a bomb apparently planted in Michoacan. That came just days after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged that an improvised explosive device killed at least four soldiers in what he called a “trap” likely set by a cartel in Michoacan.

In February, two hopefuls to be mayor of the town of Maravatío were killed within hours of each other. At least six local politicians have been murdered so far this year ahead of the June 2 national elections.

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