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.