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Coordinated attacks targeting two army garrisons in northern Mexico:18 killed.

n this photo taken March 30, 2010, a soldier stands guard next to the body of a suspected hit man at the site of a firefight between gunmen and army soldiers on the outskirts of Monterrey, northern Mexico. Apparently coordinated attacks by dozens of gunmen took place last Tuesday targeting two army garrisons in northern Mexico. According to the army, 18 attackers were killed during the the firefights. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico – Dozens of gunmen mounted rare and apparently coordinated attacks targeting two army garrisons in northern Mexico, touching off firefights that killed 18 attackers.

The attempts to blockade soldiers inside their bases — part of seven near-simultaneous attacks across two northern states — appeared to mark a serious escalation in Mexico’s drug war, in which cartel gunmen attacked in unit-size forces armed with bulletproof vehicles, dozens of hand grenades and assault rifles. READ MORE HERE