MONTERREY, Mexico – Two police departments in Monterrey, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, have ordered officers to stay at their stations in the wake of attacks that left four law enforcement agents dead and three others wounded, officials said.
Monterrey transit police commanders and officials in the suburb of Guadalupe ordered officers in their departments to not go on patrol.
Police in the neighboring cities of San Nicolas, Apodaca and San Pedro are continuing to patrol the streets, but they are doing so in convoys, spokesmen for the different departments said.
Two transit police officers were murdered and two others wounded Friday night in Monterrey.
The city, home to some of Mexico’s largest industrial corporations, plans to request the deployment of more Federal Police officers, Mayor Fernando Larrazabal said Saturday.
Transit police do not have adequate weapons to take on the gunmen employed by the drug cartels that operate in the area, Larrazabal said.
Two officers in Apodaca, a city in the Monterrey metropolitan area, were murdered last week by gunmen armed with assault rifles.
More than half a dozen attacks have been staged since the beginning of the year on police departments in the area.
The attacks were blamed on drug traffickers who claim the slain officers worked for Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent cartel.
Gunmen fired shots and hurled grenades at a prison in Monterrey last week.
The attack occurred around 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the Topo Chico prison in northwest Monterrey, where residents reported hearing gunfire and an explosion, police spokesmen said.
Shots hit the prison’s walls and a nearby guard post, while a grenade damaged several vehicles parked outside the facility.
Police found dozens of bullet casings from assault rifles outside the prison and a grenade that did not go off on a side street.
Another grenade exploded on Cuautla street, shattering the windows of nearby houses and parked cars.
Nuevo Leon was rocked by a wave of drug-related violence last year that left 517 people dead, including 30 innocent victims and more than 70 municipal police officers, federal officers and soldiers.