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Journalists injured while covering shoot out

(OLA/IFEX) - Two journalists were injured during a confrontation between alleged members of the Golfo drug cartel and federal officers, in the municipality of Fresnillo, Zacatecas. They were Ezequiel Sifuentes, camera operator for Grupo Radiofónico B -15, and Óscar Pérez Aviña, of the NTR Media Network.

The incident occurred on 3 December 2009 around 2 p.m. in the Fresnillo city centre. Witnesses said that during the confrontation the criminals set off grenades, but this did not disuade the officers, who were members of the special organised crime investigation unit (Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada, SIEDO). The criminals were chased by officers when they fled on the road towards the community of Estación San José.

When the journalists tried to cover what was happening by following the criminals, the hit men opened fire on them.

Sifuentes, who covers the police beat, was shot twice in the leg, while another bullet grazed Pérez's body. A third victim was a young girl who was caught in the firing.

The total number of deaths or injuries of criminals or police officers is, as yet, unknown. "El Universal" newspaper reported that police and military officers had been sent to the scene of the shooting.

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