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US authorities warns they'll confront violence

South Texas authorities said today they won't be intimidated by increasingly violent drug smugglers.

So they're announcing a larger Border Patrol presence along the Mexican border and that more heavily armed deputies will be authorized to return fire across the border.

Operation "River Freedom Denial" will focus more ground and air recourses on areas along the Rio Grande in the southern tip of Texas where violence has risen lately.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino (treh-VEEN'-yoh) says deputies he'll assign to the operation along the river will all be issued fully automatic rifles and authorized to return fire.

He recalled an incident in 2006 when more than 300 shots were fired across the river at his deputies and Border Patrol agents. At that time he decided to pull his deputies back from the river for their safety. Not this time.

Tension along the border has increased this week with a shootout yesterday in downtown Matamoros, Mexico, across the river from Brownsville. Also, there were shots fired at or near the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico twice this week.

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