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Mexico calls on vigilantes to stand down in drug gang conflict

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Mexico calls on vigilantes to stand down in drug gang conflict

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In Mexico, the government has vowed to retake control of a Western state after days of fighting between masked vigilantes and drug gangs.

Vigilante gunmen in Michoacan state have advanced deeper into territory controlled by the Knights Templar cartel, converging on one of the group’s strongholds.

Amid fears of a bloody urban battle, Mexico’s interior chief, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, urged the fighters to go home.

“To self-defence groups I say go back to where you came from, go back to being citizens. Security is the job of the government, ‘’ the minister said

In the town of Nueva Italia, gunmen were filmed detaining police who they accuse of working with the drug traffickers.

Despite years of battles between federal troops and drug gangs in Mexico, Michoacan state’s murder rate has nearly doubled since 2006.