Mexico drug war: 13 killed in shoot-outs in Matamoros, Tamaulipas


Mexican soldiers patrol the streets of Ciudad Mier in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas on Dec. 8, 2011.



At least 13 people were killed in three separate gun battles in northeastern Mexico on Sunday amid a violent turf war between the Gulf and Zetas drug cartels over lucrative smuggling routes into the United States.

The deadly clashes took place in the border city of Matamoros in Tamaulipas state, various reports said.

Two of the shootouts were between Mexican marines and armed men, while the third was between rival gangs.

At least one woman was killed. No marines were reported among the casualties. 

Matamoros is located across the border from Brownsville, Texas. It is one of the many routes used by gangs to smuggle drugs into the US. 

Earlier this year, authorities captured the heads of the Zetas and Gulf cartels, creating power vacuums in two of the country’s most powerful cartels.