May 29, 1997 in Nation/World

Mexican Rebels Clash With Drug Patrol

Compiled From Wire Services

Three soldiers and two rebels were killed during gunbattles in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, and a small military airplane apparently crashed during the fighting, witnesses and officials said Wednesday.

The fighting broke out when some two dozen armed men ambushed a military anti-drug patrol near Atoyac, 35 miles west of Acapulco, late Tuesday, the military said.

The men are suspected of belonging to the Popular Revolutionary Army, a shadowy rebel group that made its first appearance in June 1996.

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