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Armed group attacks Mexican prison, frees 9 inmates

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Mexico Prison Break / AP

PACHUCA, Mexico (AFP) — An armed group attacked a prison in Mexico Wednesday, injuring two police officers and freeing nine inmates, security officials said.

The early morning assault on a prison in Tula in central Hidalgo state saw intruders break into the facility in vehicles and leave with nine prisoners, said a prison statement.

Local media reported the nine were members of a gang involved in fuel theft, kidnappings and extortion.

A police source, who asked not to be named, said the aim of the raid was to rescue the alleged founder of a criminal group called Pueblos Unidos.

Media reports said the armed band blew up a car elsewhere in the city as a distraction and then used an unspecified heavy vehicle to break down the prison gate.

Mexico has long been hit by a wave of violence linked to organized crime.

According to official figures, more than 300,000 murders have been recorded since December 2006, when the federal government launched a controversial anti-drug operation with the participation of the military.

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