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Calderon Sending Reinforcements for Mexican Drug War

Mexico's president says he is sending four more battalions to northern Mexico, where forces are engaged in a bloody battle with drug smugglers.

President Felipe Calderon said Saturday that the soldiers will be deployed to the state of Tamaulipas, along Mexico's border with the United States. He said he was also going to send new armored vehicles and bullet-proof vests. And he pledged to raise salaries for soldiers and increase pensions for the widows of slain soldiers.

Mr. Calderon was speaking at a military base in Reynosa, a city in Tamaulipas state, as part of a day celebrating Mexico's armed forces.

President Calderon launched his offensive against Mexico's powerful cartels soon after taking power in December of 2006. Government officials say since then, at least 34,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.