updated 4/13/2008 6:04:55 AM ET 2008-04-13T10:04:55

Soldiers arrested eight men in a northern Mexico cemetery during the burial of an alleged drug hit man, Mexico's Defense Department said Saturday.

Fifty soldiers in Humvees and helicopters raided a cemetery in the town of Villa Ahumada, where 19-year-old Gregorio Gallegos was being buried Tuesday, the department said in a news release.

A local police commander was among those arrested in the raid, according to the release.

Gallegos, an alleged member of the Juarez drug cartel, was killed a week ago by a rival gang.

Soldiers went to the cemetery in response to reports of heavily armed men, the military said. The helicopters arrived first and were fired upon by people on the ground.

The department said soldiers also seized two vehicles carrying 100 pounds of marijuana and four assault rifles in the raid.

President Felipe Calderon has deployed more than 20,000 soldiers and federal agents nationwide to combat a wave of drug-related violence in Mexico.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments