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April 19, 2014

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Mexican vigilantes say they’re in gang-held city

Updated Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 | 2:06 p.m.

APATZINGAN, Mexico (AP) — A leader of the vigilantes who have driven a quasi-religious drug cartel from a series of towns in western Mexico says the vigilantes have entered a city dominated by the criminal gang and are working with government forces to clear it of cartel gunmen.

Vigilante leader Hipolito Mora spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the center of the city of Apatzingan, which effectively has been under control of the Knights Templar cartel for several years.

Mora said federal police and military forces controlled security in the city but armed and unarmed member of the "self-defense" movement were working with them Saturday to identify Knights Templar hideouts. He said approximately 200 gangsters were arrested, including the brother of one of the gang's leaders. The government made no immediate comment.