CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Every police officer in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez was ordered to leave home and stay in a hotel after the killing of five officers by a local drug cartel.

Juárez Mayor Héctor Murguía said Wednesday that sheltering the city's police officers in several motels is working since there have been no more attacks launched against them.

"That measure is working," Murguía said in an audio recording posted on the Juárez City Hall website. "There hadn't been more attacks against police and, better yet, no more (officers) dead."

Last Monday, in the wake of another attack against several police officers near the Zaragoza international bridge, Murguía ordered police officers to stay at several hotels as a precautionary measure with around the clock surveillance.

In that attack, three suspects were killed and three police officers were wounded.

"We did the right thing," Murguía said. "As long as we manage to spare an officer's life, we are in good shape."

This year, eight Juárez police officers have been slain. Last Wednesday, several banners were discovered around the city. Those messages threatened to kill one police officer per day and force Juárez chief of Police Julián Leyzaola to step down.

Juárez officials said they plan to buy more equipment for Juárez police. That includes bulletproof vests, uniforms, firearms, radios, and 95 unit patrols, officials said.

Also, officials said, the city allocated an undisclosed amount of extra money to cover officers' expenses in hotels. That allotment was granted for the federal government, officials said.


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During Monday's attack, suspects threw a grenade at police officers filling their cars at a gas station. The grenade didn't detonate.

Three suspects were taken into custody on the same day. They were turned over to the Chihuahua Attorney General's office in Juárez. Charges are still pending against them.

As for Johnny "El Tin Tan" Morales, whom Leyzaola said was behind the recent attacks, Juárez officials had no further comment.

(AP)

"It is regrettable that the (Tin Tan) photo was leaked to the media," Murguía said. "From now on, we're are going to keep mum about the investigations to avoid hindering them."