45 Mexican police accused of being in Zetas cartel

"There have been 45 of them (policemen) arrested in Cadereyta," a spokesman for the Nuevo Leon state investigating agency said yesterday, noting the arrests were made late Tuesday.

The detained are being investigated for links to the Zetas, whom the government has blamed for killing the 145 people whose remains were exhumed from mass graves this month in neighbouring Tamaulipas state.

Separately, Mexican police killed 10 suspected gunmen after a high-speed chase and an intense shootout that saw a car full of armed men crash into a passenger bus, authorities said.

The state government in Veracruz said it had arrested another 10 people in Tuesday's incident. The Mexican Navy said one of the gunmen's vehicles, believed to have had grenades on board, "lost control and crashed" into the bus before exploding.

Two charred corpses were found inside the car but that none of the bus passengers were wounded, it said. The state government said the chase began with an anonymous tip-off that armed men were operating in the north of the Gulf port city of 800,000 people.

Nearly 37,000 people have been killed in a wave of violence since Mexico launched a military crackdown on powerful and increasingly brutal drug cartels in 2006.

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