NBC News
updated 6/9/2011 1:02:58 PM ET 2011-06-09T17:02:58

American law enforcement officers were fired on from Mexico early Thursday as a Texas Rangers-led operation tried to capture a load of smuggled narcotics on the Rio Grande, officials said.

The McAllen Monitor newspaper reported the incident took place in Mission, Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement obtained by NBC News that at least three suspected drug runners were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

Officials said a suspicious vehicle on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande was observed along with two cartel drug recovery boats. Three law-enforcement patrol boats arrived on the scene and received heavy gunfire from the Mexico side while attempting to interdict the drug-laden boats, they said.

Several U.S. agencies were involved.

Mexican authorities were notified of the abandoned cartel drug-laden boats and were on the scene, authorities said.

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