9 Wounded as Soldiers, Zapatistas Clash

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Associated Press

A confrontation between Zapatistas and Mexican soldiers in the southern state of Chiapas has left nine people wounded, rebels and military authorities said.

The Defense Ministry said 40 people armed with sticks, machetes and rocks attacked a patrol Wednesday near San Jose la Esperanza “in a clear provocation.” Seven soldiers and police were wounded.

The ministry said that the patrol responded “with great prudence to avoid violent acts” and that the soldiers had opened fire “to dissuade the aggressors.”


However, the rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army said in a statement that two rebel fighters were shot and wounded when Mexican soldiers and police attacked the Lacandon Jungle community, between the rebel stronghold of La Realidad and the hamlet of Rizo de Oro. The statement also said soldiers beat men and women from the community.

The skirmish was the first direct confrontation since January, when Zapatista rebels fought with soldiers in Aldama.