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Dead in clash between rural defense groups in Mexico rises to 11

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MEXICO CITY — A Mexican official says the death toll from a clash between two rural police groups has risen to 11.

PHOTO: FILE - In this May 28, 2014, file photo, Hipolito Mora, leader of a Michoacan vigilante group, participates in a national meeting of self-defense groups, in Mexico City. Mora, a founder of one of the groups that rose up to confront drug traffickers in the state more than a year ago, said Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014, in a television interview that his group was attacked by a heavily armed rival. The clash occurred at the entrance to the town of La Ruana. Mora said that five or six people were killed, including his son. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
FILE - In this May 28, 2014, file photo, Hipolito Mora, leader of a Michoacan vigilante group, participates in a national meeting of self-defense groups, in Mexico City. Mora, a founder of one of the groups that rose up to confront drug traffickers in the state more than a year ago, said Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014, in a television interview that his group was attacked by a heavily armed rival. The clash occurred at the entrance to the town of La Ruana. Mora said that five or six people were killed, including his son. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Federal commissioner Alfredo Castillo says the confrontation Tuesday was the result of the rivalry between two groups of former vigilantes that have been converted into the state's new Rural Forces. He said Wednesday that the group headed by Hipolito Mora was attacked by a group led by Luis Antonio Torres Morales, "El Americano," both leaders of the original self-defense groups that rose up nearly two years ago to fight drug traffickers in the western state of Michoacan.

Both groups have since converted into the Rural Forces, a new police force created by the federal government earlier this year to get the vigilantes to register and put down illegal arms.

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