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Mexican navy kills top cartel kingpin in shootout

CUERNAVACA, Mexico (AP) - It's one of the biggest victories yet in Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on drugs.

Arturo Beltran Leyva, the reputed "boss of bosses," and three members of his cartel have been killed in a shootout with government forces.

According to the Mexican navy, a fifth cartel member committed suicide during the shootout.

The navy says two hundred sailors raided an upscale apartment complex in Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City yesterday, and killed Beltran Leyva in a two-hour gunbattle.

He's one of five brothers who split from the Sinaloa Cartel several years ago, and is the highest-ranking figure taken down under Calderon. Another brother, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, was arrested in January 2008.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the Beltran Leyva cartel is key in the importation and distribution of tons of cocaine in the United States, as well as large quantities of heroin. Mexico considers the group one of its six major cartels.


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