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Four Men, Tied to Infamous Drug Cartel, Arrested Following Tijuana Shoot-Out

A three hour shootout in Tijuana Thursday led to the arrest of four men who police say worked for the infamous Arellano Felix drug cartel. Police say they found six bodies at the house where they made

A three hour shootout in Tijuana Thursday led to the arrest of four men who police say worked for the infamous Arellano Felix drug cartel. Police say they found six bodies at the house where they made the arrests. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

It's not clear what led police to the home in Tijuana's Ermita neighborhood. When they arrived, men shot at them. The agents shot back. It escalated from there.

A woman who asked her name not be used spoke on the phone from a tortilla factory a few doors away. She said she and her co-workers had locked themselves inside.

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She said hundreds of police were rushing in. All of the businesses shut. She said there was a helicopter. And all of the streets were blocked.

Police evacuated a nursery school as shots were fired nearby. In the end, four policemen were injured. Police say two of the Arellano Felix members they arrested are policemen. Police say the six bodies they found were gagged and blindfolded. Each had a bullet hole in the forehead.

The shootout and arrests comes just days after gunmen murdered three high ranking policemen in Tijuana along with one agent's wife and daughter.

Edgar Millan is a federal law enforcement official in Mexico. At a press conference he said Mexican President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on crime could cause more violence as drug cartels retaliate. But, he says the country will not back down in its war on drug cartels.

Baja California Governor Osuna Millan told reporters quote, we're winning the battle, end quote. Shortly after the arrests yesterday afternoon, Tijuana's City Hall, police station and other city buildings were evacuated. Someone broadcast bomb scares on the police radio frequency. Local media report someone also said they'd hunt city officials and their families. Then the person played narcocorridos, songs that celebrate drug traffickers.

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Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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