Four soldiers and six civilians dead:
Mexican Soldiers, Alleged Fuel Thieves Killed in Shootouts.Nearly a a dozen more injured in two clashes late Wednesday night in Palmarito. (emphasis added)
The first clash occurred shortly after sunset Wednesday when soldiers responding to a report of a pipeline tap were ambushed by gunmen who used women and children as human shields, the defense ministry said in a statement. Two soldiers were killed but the troops withdrew without returning fire to avoid harming the civilians, the ministry said.
Hundreds of soldiers and federal police returned to Palmarito a few hours later, engaging gunmen in a clash that left two more soldiers and six suspected gunmen dead, officials said. Security forces recovered armored vehicles, several rifles and other weapons.
Palmarito lies within the so-called Red Triangle, which officials have cited as one of the primary areas for theft from fuel pipelines that link refineries to central Mexico.
Last March InSight Crime reported on Corruption, Oil Theft an Explosive Cocktail for Mexico State of Puebla,
oil theft may generate much more revenue than any other local illegal activity for criminal organizations. The most recent estimates are that oil theft in Mexico generated an astounding $1.5 billion in profits in 2016.
Mexico’s oil industry generated US$18.7 billion in 2016.