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Mexican troops nab drug lord 'Ciclon 7' near US Texas border

Mexican soldiers have captured a senior figure of the Gulf Cartel in the northern border city of Matamoros. The crime syndicate controls much of the drug and human trafficking activity along the border with the US.

Government officials announced Friday that Angel Eduardo Prado Rodriguez, known by the alias "Ciclon 7," was detained by soldiers in a pre-dawn raid near Mexico's border with Texas.

Prado Rodriguez was the last of 15 priority targets listed in a new security plan for the troubled northeastern state of Tamaupilas, Mexico's national security commissioner Renato Sales told reporters.

He said the drug lord, also known as 'El Orejon' (Big Ears), was captured in a house and about $20,000 (17,600 euros) in cash was seized along with firearms and drugs.

Prado Rodriguez allegedly led the Ciclones, or Cyclones - a faction of the Gulf Cartel that has been locked in a violent power struggle with the so-called Metros faction,

based in the nearby border city of Reynosa

. The crime syndicate has split into various competing groups in recent years, but as a whole it dominates smuggling operations along the frontier with southern Texas.

Commissioner Sales said Prado Rodriguez had been involved in the cartel since at least 2005. He now faces a string of criminal charges, including offenses relating to murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking and fuel theft, Sales added.

Mexico's government has increased the number of troops stationed in the border state in a bid to

tackle deadly clashes

between rival organized crime groups, particularly involving the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. Prado Rodriguez was identified as a top operator of the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros in 2014, when he was listed as one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords.

nm/jm (AP, EFE)

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