Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mexican gunman fires across border toward U.S. highway workers

At least one Mexican gunman fired a high-powered rifle across the border at four U.S. road workers Thursday in an isolated ghost town east of Fort Hancock, Hudspeth County sheriff's officials said. The bullets did not injure the four men. Mike Doyle, chief deputy of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office, said a rancher spotted a white pickup fleeing the area on the Mexican side at 10:30 a.m. -- the time the shots were fired. The bullets stuck private land along the unpaved Indian Hot Springs Road, which is about half a mile from the border fence. Hudspeth County borrowed the land to store gravel and rocks used for road construction. The workers were filling a hole left last year by rainstorm damage. Doyle said the gunman might have shot at the road workers to distract them or get them to flee. "Maybe they were trying to get them outside this area," he said. Drug cartels use this busy smuggling corridor in between the Quitman Mountains and mountains in the northwestern part of Chihuahua state to traffic marijuana and sometimes cocaine, Doyle said. It is the first time Hudspeth County officials reported gunfire coming from across the border. In El Paso, stray bullets from a drug-related gunfight hit City Hall in June. Another stray bullet struck a University of Texas at El Paso building in August. On Falcon Lake, a border area near Laredo, Texas, American tourist David Hartley was reportedly shot by Mexican gunmen in October...more

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