Eleven dead in vigilante shootout in western Mexio

Eleven dead in vigilante shootout in western Mexio
Vigilantes stand guard next to a bridge during a blockade on a highway near the town of Uruapan in Michoacan state.

MEXICO CITY - A shootout between rival vigilantes in Mexico's western Michoacan state has left 11 dead, authorities said on Tuesday, in the clearest sign yet of renewed unrest in an area President Enrique Pena Nieto's government said had been pacified.

The federal government's security commissioner for the state, Alfredo Castillo, told reporters the clash pitted two rival vigilante groups against each another in the town of La Ruana, about 150 miles (241 km) from Morelia, the state capital.

Castillo did not elaborate on what provoked the shootout.

On Sunday, vigilante groups blocked several highways in Michoacan, but there were no reports of injuries or major damage.

At the start of 2014, Pena Nieto ordered reinforcements to Michoacan to wrest control of the state from a powerful drug gang, and later forged an uneasy alliance with vigilante groups to restore order.

The unrest in Michoacan follows rising anger about a lack of security in Mexico, where the abduction and presumed massacre of 43 trainee teachers has sparked mass protests across the country.

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