Police: 12 to 15 dead in Mexico border shootouts

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Associated Press Writer

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) -- Running gunbattles between suspected drug traffickers broke out on the streets of the border city of Tijuana on Saturday, and there were conflicting reports on how many people were killed.

One Tijuana police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk on the record, said the shootouts left between 14 and 15 people dead. Another official, speaking on the same terms, put the number of dead at around 12.

Authorities promised to release more solid information at a news conference in this border city.

Initial versions said suspected drug traffickers fired at each other from moving cars on one of the city's main boulevard's in the pre-dawn hours.

Photos from the scene showed bodies and assault rifles on the street.

The traffickers may have belonged to the same cartel and police said it could be a settling of scores within the cartel.

The officials said that in addition to the dead, several people were wounded.

Drug gangs have staged a series of bloody shootouts and assassinations in Tijuana in recent years as part of running turf battles for control of lucrative trafficking routes.