MEXICO CITY (AP) — Suspected fuel thieves have opened fire on a marine patrol in Mexico, killing one marine and wounding three others.
The marines were patrolling a state-owned pipeline in central Puebla state that has been frequently targeted by thieves who drill illegal taps into the ducts.
The Navy said the attack occurred early Saturday and that the marines were outnumbered by gunmen. The three wounded marines are listed in stable condition.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has declared an offensive against widespread fuel theft that costs the country an estimated $3 billion per year.
The Navy said "it is important to note that the fuel thefts gangs have increased their levels of aggression" against Navy personnel.
In 2017, a clash between army troops and fuel thieves killed four soldiers and six civilians.