Death toll in Mexico attack rises to at least 20

The death toll from weekend gun battles between Mexican security forces and drug-cartel gunmen rose to at least 20 on Sunday, when government agents killed seven cartel members, Mexican authorities said.

The violence began Saturday when dozens of armed cartel associates attacked a town hall in northern Mexico. It was the latest in a series of troubling signs about the state of security in the country.

The attack came on the eve of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s first anniversary in office. López Obrador, a leftist leader who is popular except for his failure to reduce violence, is under pressure from President Trump to get tougher on the cartels.

Trump wants to brand Mexican cartels as terrorist groups, but the Mexican leader said he would not return to a “war on drugs” run by the military, calling it an “absurd and deranged strategy.”

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