MEXICO CITY — A Mexican admiral was shot to death in an ambush in a region where security forces have been battling a powerful drug cartel, officials said Monday.
The government’s spokesman on security matters, Eduardo Sanchez, said the military arrested three members of the group suspected of carrying out the attack Sunday in the western state of Michoacan.
He said gunmen opened fire on an official vehicle carrying Vice Admiral Carlos Miguel Salazar Ramonet, who was traveling on an unpaved road.
The admiral’s vehicle had turned onto the dirt road after finding that the highway it was traveling on was blocked.
Michoacan has been the scene of violent clashes between security forces and a drug gang known as the Knights Templar.
On Tuesday, four police and at least 20 suspected gang members were killed in a series of gun battles in the state, according to the government.
President Enrique Pena Nieto ordered a major operation in May targeting the Knights Templars in Michoacan after villagers began organizing their own self-defense groups.
Mexico has been convulsed by drug violence in recent years, with more than 70,000 people killed in cartel turf battles and security operations since 2006.