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Mar 21, 5:58 PM EDT

At least 7 killed in drug gang shootouts in northern Mexico

Drug Lords' Aliases
Mexican cartels reaching farther into U.S.

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican officials say at least seven people were killed in a series of shootouts between drug gangs in the northern border state of Chihuahua.

The state prosecutor's office says the dead were found Monday at several points along highways west of the state capital.

The office says one of the dead has been identified by relatives as a local drug gang leader known as Cesar Gamboa Sosa. It says he had been implicated in drug trafficking and several homicides.

Seven deaths were linked to the shootouts. An eighth body found in the same area remains under investigation.

Prosecutors say four police officers were wounded while responding to the confrontations, which left 14 pickup trucks, SUVs and cars riddled with bullets. Several of the trucks had armoring.

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