Mexico Drug War Claims At Least 12 in Bloody Monday

The body count in Mexico‘s costly drug war continued to rise as a dozen security officers were killed in an ambush in the state of Michoacan, one of the cartel-plagued regions in the country.

Authorities said the security forces were returning from their patrol when they were ambushed near a school in the city of Zitacuaro. The Public Safety Department in Michoacan, President Felipe Calderon‘s home state, said 13 other officers were wounded in the attack, which is the latest against police and military personnel since the government launched an all-out war against drug cartels.

Meanwhile, three more officers were killed in the city of Chihuahua, raising the death toll to 15 in one of the deadliest days for the government since the bodies of 12 federal agents were found along a highway in Michoacan last year.

The twin attacks came as Calderon defended his war against drug traffickers, saying in an essay posted on his official Web site that the country would be in a worse situation had the government failed to step up its fight against criminals.