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DPS on alert in southern Arizona after reports of cartel violence in Mexico

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Public Safety is on alert in the southern part of the state following reports of drug cartel-related violence just across the border in Mexico.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, DPS said it is ready to work with agencies on both sides of the border.

Gov. Doug Ducey added in a tweet that he’d “instructed DPS to stand ready to assist our local and federal partners as needed.”

Ducey and DPS used the same phrase: “There is no higher priority than to protect the public safety of Arizonans.”

On Tuesday, The Associated Press, citing Mexican authorities, reported that nine people were killed and a child was wounded in two gunbattles in border towns in the state of Sonora.

One of the incidents was in Agua Prieta, just across the border from Douglas, Arizona. The other was in Naco, about 10 miles south of Bisbee.

Director Frank Milstead tweeted that he’d assigned troopers to the Cochise County sheriff’s border task force.

DPS also said it has offered support to Sonoran state police.

The governor’s office and DPS both declined to comment further.

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