1 injured in attack on army guarding Guatemalan president

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CITY OF GUATEMALA — A man was injured on Saturday after gunmen opened fire on soldiers at a checkpoint securing the area for a visit by Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to a town near the Mexican border.

Guatemalan army spokesman Rubén Téllez said soldiers were working at a road checkpoint to provide perimeter security for the presidential visit to La Laguna, a town in Huehuetenango province.

Téllez said a car approached the checkpoint and its occupants then opened fire on soldiers, who returned fire.

A man, believed to be Mexican, was shot in the legs during the incident and was taken for medical treatment.

It does not appear that Giammattei was ever in danger, was the target of the attack, or was near the shooting.

The area is frequented by human traffickers and drug dealers, many of whom work for Mexican gangs.

“Guatemalan army personnel stopped a vehicle approaching their location,” Téllez said. “But the occupants of the vehicle, seeing the presence of the soldiers, started shooting, to which the soldiers returned fire, injuring one while the rest of the occupants of the vehicle fled in the direction of Mexico.”

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