Image: Monterrey blockade
Tomas Bravo  /  Reuters file
Mexican police say narco-blockades are becoming more common in Monterrey, with the most recent occurring Saturday. Earlier this month, soldiers stood guard around stolen trailers used by gunmen to form a barricade on a main road.
msnbc.com news services
updated 8/14/2010 7:34:48 PM ET 2010-08-14T23:34:48

In a violent show of force, suspected Mexican drug gang members cut off 13 major roads in Monterrey, Mexico, on Saturday, dragging motorists out of their vehicles to use as blockades against police.

Four people were killed in an earlier shootout, authorities in Mexico said. Among the dead was  an alleged leader of Los Zetas, one of Mexico's most powerful and violent drug cartel, BBC News reported.

Soldiers from the Mexican Army clashed with armed assailants inside two armored vehicles, according to Blog del Narco, Mexico's go-to Web site on information on the country's drug war.

Drivers were forced out of their vehicles and robbed by suspected traffickers, BBC reported. There was no information on the extent of civilian injuries.

Monterrey, one Mexico's wealthiest cities, has seen a sharp increase in crime since Los Zetas moved its operations into the area, BBC reported. Los Zetas members are purported to be assassins who deserted the Mexican Army.

Elsewhere, police in Ciudad Juarez captured five alleged drug gang members suspected in the killings of two federal officers, including one whose body was hacked to pieces.

One of the suspects is also believed to have acted as a lookout in the July 15 car-bomb attack on police that killed an officer and two other people, said Luis Cardenas Palomino, regional security chief for the federal police.

In the Pacific coast state of Michoacan, police found the bodies of six people in two locations, authorities said.

Prosecutors said the bodies of four males, including two teenagers, were found Thursday with their hands and feet bound inside a car in the town of Tepalcatepec. All had been shot to death.

Minutes earlier, police in Tepalcatepec found the body of a man and a woman alongside a road, prosecutors said.

More than 28,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug traffickers in late 2006, sending thousands of troops and federal police to drug hot spots.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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