1 injured in attack on army guarding Guatemala’s president

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GUATEMALA CITY — A man was injured on Saturday after gunmen opened fire on soldiers at a checkpoint that provided area security for Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei’s visit to a town near the Mexican border.

Rubén Téllez, a spokesman for the Guatemalan military, said soldiers were working at a checkpoint on the highway that was intended to provide perimeter security for the presidential visit to La Laguna, a city in Huehuetenango province.

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

A man, possibly a Mexican, was shot in the leg during the incident and was taken for medical treatment.

It doesn’t appear that Giammattei was ever in danger, the target of the attack, or anywhere near the shooting.

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

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“Guatemalan army personnel stopped a vehicle approaching their location,” Téllez said. “But when the occupants of the vehicle saw the presence of military personnel, they started firing, to which the soldiers responded, injuring one person while the rest of the vehicle’s occupants fled toward Mexico.”