Soldiers capture 25 gunmen in northern Mexico

/ Source: The Associated Press

The Mexican army has captured 25 gunmen in northern Mexico who witnesses say disguised themselves as soldiers.

The men were captured at a ranch in the state of Chihuahua, across from Texas, after the army receiving a complaint, the Defense Department said in a statement Sunday. Soldiers also seized 29 automatic rifles during the Thursday raid in Nicolas Bravo.

Mexico has deployed 45,000 soldiers nationwide to crush Mexico's drug cartels but corruption among police and other government officials has hindered the crackdown.

The department said Friday it had turned over to federal prosecutors 10 midlevel military officers who were allegedly passing information to reputed drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman.

Also Sunday, authorities in the western state of Michoacan said three federal agents were killed in two separate attacks along a highway.

The agents were on patrol along the Morelia-Salamanca highway late Saturday when gunmen opened fire, the state's prosecutors office said in a statement.

A witness told police the gunmen were traveling in two pickup trucks. Investigators recovered more then 500 shell casings from the two crime scenes.

Mexico's drug violence has claimed more than 10,800 lives since 2006, when Calderon launched his anti-drug campaign.