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3 killed in inmate hunt shootout near US border

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September 20, 2012 11:56 PM EST | AP


PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico — Authorities in Mexico say three gunmen have been killed after attacking police hunting for inmates who joined in a mass escape from a prison near the U.S. border.

The Coahuila state prosecutor's office says the gunmen were in a truck in a residential area of the border city of Piedras Negras when they fired on state police officers Thursday who were helping look for some of the 131 prisoners who fled a nearby prison early in the week.

Investigators have yet to determine whether the dead gunmen were escapees. The statement says the truck matches records of a vehicle stolen in San Antonio, Texas.

Authorities say the Zetas drug cartel orchestrated the prison break apparently with the help of prison personnel. Three escapees have been recaptured so far.