Obama Voices Support For Mexico's Drugs Battle

"A leader of Mexico's powerful Gulf cartel was shot dead on Friday by security forces in a town near the US border.

Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as ""Tony Tormenta"", was killed in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville in Texas.

Obama said the US backed Mexico's efforts to end the cartels' ""impunity"".

""The president offered his condolences to President Calderon on the death of Mexican officials involved in the operation,"" said a White House statement.

Residents in Matamoros spoke of a shoot-out lasting for several hours.

Cardenas was the brother of former Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas, who was extradited to the US in 2007.

Three suspected gunmen and two marines were also killed in the gun battle, according to federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire. A local journalist died in the crossfire, Mexican media reported."