Mexican army, police to take over duties in Michoacan towns

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MORELIA, Mexico (AP) — The Mexican army and federal police will assume control of security in several municipalities in the western state of Michoacan, replacing recently legalized rural police forces that engaged in a deadly clash last week.

Earlier this year, Mexico's government took the unprecedented step of providing guns, uniforms and salaries for former vigilantes in Michoacan who had organized to fight a local drug cartel, recruiting them into a newly created "Rural Force."

But last week two rival groups of ex-vigilantes engaged in a clash in the town of La Ruana that left 11 people dead.

Federal security commissioner Alfredo Castillo said Tuesday that the army and federal police would take over from the rural forces in three of the 20 municipalities where they had been legalized, including La Ruana and Apatzingan.

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