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WASHINGTON—A top Homeland Security official told a House panel Thursday that Mexican drug cartels are the biggest organized crime threat to the United States.
Since 2008, about 7,000 people have been killed in the Mexican drug wars, and violence is spilling into some U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Phoenix and Birmingham, Ala.
Homeland Security official Roger Rufe said a department plan to respond to escalating violence on the southwest border includes deploying military personnel and equipment to the region if homeland security agencies become overwhelmed.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.