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U.S. government issues security alert for Juárez and Chihuahua City

The U.S. government has issued a security alert for U.S. citizens in Juárez and Chihuahua City. (FILE Image/MGN Online)

The U.S. government has issued a security alert for U.S. citizens in Juárez and Chihuahua City.

The announcement comes after a wave of cartel violence left at least eight Juarez police officers injured on Jan. 17. "Authorities believe that members of organized criminal groups are carrying out these attacks, which are expected to continue," reads the alert posted on the U.S. government website one day later.

Video posted by the tabloid news site, LaPolaka.com shows a public bus in flames. Mexican police say gang members allegedly set the bus ablaze and then used it to block a street. The publication said the move was meant as a distraction during the attacks.

The U.S. Consulate is advising citizens to take the following actions:

- For police and other emergency assistance, dial 911.

- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

- Monitor local media for updates.

- Use caution when driving in heavy traffic or at night.

- Drive with your doors locked and windows up.

- Be prepared to take alternative routes between home and work and other frequent locations.

The Juárez Mayor, Armando Cabada said the attacks are a retaliatory response to recent drug and weapons seizures made by police, according to The El Paso Times.

The U.S. Embassy says the attacks are expected to continue.

The Consulate also encourages U.S. citizens traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest embassy or consulate by using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The service is free. Citizens may also enroll for the latest security updates.

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