By Kirk Semple and Oscar Lopez / nytimes.com

MEXICO CITY — Gunmen on Thursday ambushed a Mexican government convoy conducting a security patrol southwest of the capital, killing 13 prosecutors and police officers in what appeared to be the deadliest assault on Mexican law enforcement in well over a year, officials said.

The attack was a major setback to government security forces and yet another reminder of the severe security challenges facing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president took office in 2018 promising to make Mexico a safer place, but he has been unable to put a meaningful dent in the violence that has long bloodied the country.

Rodrigo Martínez Celis Wogau, security minister for the State of Mexico, called the ambush “an affront to the Mexican state” and promised to “respond with total force.”

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