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Police and FBI agents in the US state of Texas have launched a series of raids on a gang thought to have been behind the killings of three people linked to the US consulate in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Around 200 law enforcement officers took part in Thursday's raids targeting suspected members of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso.
More than 15,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past three years [AFP]
Officials said the goal of "Operation Knockdown" was to generate leads in the investigation into last week's killings in Ciudad Juarez.
"We believe that major intelligence can be collected here on the US side by going after and getting these members of Barrio Azteca, and that's what they're doing down in El Paso," Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, told AFP news agency.
The military has led many of the arrests, and in some towns, army officers have taken over as police chief.