Mexico kills drug kingpin reported dead years ago: official

MEXICO CITY Sun Mar 9, 2014 7:49pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican drug lord who had been reported dead more than three years ago was killed in a shootout with federal forces in western Mexico early on Sunday, a government official said.

Nazario Moreno, a leader of a powerful criminal gang that has ravaged the western state of Michoacan, had been reported killed by the government in a firefight in December 2010.

But his body was never recovered and he was widely believed to still be alive.

The government will confirm his death in a news conference later on Sunday, the official said, insisting on anonymity.

The death of Moreno, who was known as "El Mas Loco," or "The Craziest One," marks another major victory for President Enrique Peña Nieto's government in its campaign to bring Mexico's powerful drug gangs to heel.

The country's most wanted drug baron, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, was captured last month.

(Reporting by Dave Graham and Simon Gardner; Editing by Paul Simao, Mohammad Zargham, G Crosse and Eric Walsh)

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