An entire police force of 26 officers quit their posts in a northern Mexican town after two of their colleagues were killed in an armed attack.
The mass resignation follows several attacks in recent weeks on police in the town, which lies on major drug-trafficking routes to the United States.
“The officers were afraid and resigned,” said Jaime Dominguez Loya, the mayor of Ascension, a town of 5,000 people in Chihuahua state home to Mexico’s most violent city of Ciudad Juarez.
The mayor has now called for help from regional and federal authorities.
An entire police force resigned in 2009 from Villa Ahumada, another town in Chihuahua, following attacks allegedly led by drug gangs. Regional and federal security forces now police that town.
More than 41,000 people have died in violence blamed on Mexico’s drug cartels since the end of 2006, when President Felipe Calderón deployed some 50,000 troops to tackle organised crime.