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Mexican President says drug lord 'El Chapo' recaptured after escape from country's highest-security prison

Published:Friday | January 8, 2016 | 1:40 PM
In this February 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Mexico.

MEXICO CITY (AP):

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced today that fugitive drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was recaptured six months after he escaped from a maximum security prison.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to be quoted by name said Guzman was apprehended after a shootout with Mexican marines in the city of Los Mochis, in Guzman's home state of Sinaloa. He said Guzman was taken alive and was not wounded.

Responding to what was seen as one of the biggest embarrassments of his administration – Guzman's July 11 escape through a tunnel from Mexico's highest-security prison – Pena Nieto wrote in his Twitter account on Friday: "mission accomplished: we have him."

"I would like to inform Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained."

Five people were killed and one Mexican marine wounded in the clash.

The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a home in the town of Los Mochis before dawn. They were fired on from inside the structure. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested. The marine's injuries were not life threatening.

At the home marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Photos of the arms seized in the raid suggested that Guzman and his associates had a fearsome arsenal at the non-descript white house.

Two of the rifles seized were .50-caliber sniper guns, capable of penetrating most bullet-proof vests and cars. The grenade launcher was found loaded, with an extra round nearby. And an assault rifle had a .40mm grenade launcher, and at least one grenade.