El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel is hit by Mexican-American forces in joint raid

The raid took place close to the US-Mexico border 

Will Worley
Sunday 31 January 2016 23:02
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The operation was a combined effort between US and Mexican forces
The operation was a combined effort between US and Mexican forces

The Sinaloa Cartel has been hit with a "strong blow", in a raid which resulted in the deaths of two of its members and arrests of 22 more.

Mexican federal police and US security forces came under fire after surrounding a building in the desert near the US-Mexico border, near the town of Sonoyta.

Inside, a cache of weapons was discovered along with evidence of drug trafficking and people smuggling.

The operation, code-named 'Mexican Operation Diablo Express', recovered 250 kilograms of suspected marijuana and 18 guns, including 15 assault rifles, according to Mexican federal police.

A federal police spokesman confirmed that the people who had been arrested were members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said: "Due its the sensitive nature, this operation was conducted with utmost secrecy to maintain the element of surprise and to ensure the safety of the Mexican law enforcement officers executing it."

She also stated that the operation was aimed at high level members of the Sinaloa Cartel and it was a "strong blow" to the group.

Drugs cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is presented to media in Mexico after his recapture on 8 January

Observers have suggested that raid demonstrates further evidence of a more co-operative relationship between the governments of the US and Mexico in dealing with the drug cartels.

The Sinaloa Cartel's leader, Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán was recently re-arrested following his escape from prison last year.

American security forces helped extensively in the operation to re-capture El Chapo.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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