Pubdate: Wed, 15 Mar 2000
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 2000 Associated Press
Author: Michelle Koidin, Associated Press Writer


EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Mexican soldiers strayed into U.S. territory and
fired two shots at uniformed Border Patrol agents during an anti-drug
mission, the agency said Wednesday. Nine Mexican soldiers were briefly

No one was hurt in the shooting late Tuesday in a remote area south of
Santa Teresa, N.M., just west of El Paso.

Mexico's National Defense Secretariat said today it had no information
on the incident.

Marco Antonio Fraire, spokesman for the Mexican Consulate in El Paso,
said the soldiers accidentally crossed the international line, but he
had no information about a shooting.

The U.S. Border Patrol said two Humvees carrying Mexican soldiers on
an anti-drug mission crossed the border at about 10:30 p.m.

A wire cattle fence runs along the border in the area, and markers at
each mile would be difficult to see at night, Border Patrol spokesman
Doug Mosier said.

The uniformed Border Patrol agents approached, identified themselves
in Spanish and explained that the soldiers were in U.S. territory,
Mosier said.

At one point, two shots were fired from one of the Humvees, which then
returned to Mexico. It's unclear who fired the shots, Mosier said. No
one was hit, and Border Patrol agents did not return fire, he said.

The nine occupants of the second Humvee surrendered and were taken to
the Santa Teresa Border Patrol station. They were released within a
few hours.

Officials with the Border Patrol and its parent agency, the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, will discuss the incident with
Mexican government officials, the Border Patrol said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Allan Wilkinson