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US agents fire tear gas into Mexico at ‘violent mob’ near border

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TIJUANA, MEXICO US border agents launched tear gas into Mexico early on Tuesday to deter a group of migrants that one official called "a violent mob" from crossing over from Tijuana, according to a Reuters witness and the US government.

Clouds of the noxious gas could be seen wafting up from around the fence at the border.

One migrant picked up a canister and threw it back into US territory.

US officials said the group had attacked agents with projectiles but a Reuters witness did not see any migrants throwing rocks.

Tijuana has become a flashpoint in the debate over US immigration policy, which has been intensified by the recent deaths of two migrant children in American custody and a partial US government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion) in funding for a wall along the border with Mexico.

A previous incident in November when US agents fired gas into Mexico to disperse migrants triggered a call from Mexico's government for an investigation, as well as international condemnation.

Mexico Foreign Ministry spokesman Roberto Velasco said the government "regrets the events" at the border. He said Mexico "advocates respect for migrants' human rights, security and integrity, while calling for respect for laws on both sides of the border". - REUTERS

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