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2 Border Patrol agents assaulted in 24 hours

Two Border Patrol agents were assaulted by Mexican men in two separate incidents last week, authorities said. 

Late last Wednesday, agents assigned to the Special Operations Detachment encountered two Mexican nationals armed with rifles in a remote area west of Tucson. As the agents moved in to arrest the men, one attempted to flee and an agent ran after him, said Agent Vicente Paco, a spokesman for the Tucson Sector. 

When the agent caught up, a fight ensued and a second agent had to help him subdue the man, said Paco. The agent suffered a dislocated shoulder, said Paco. 

The agents seized four weapons during the encounter, Paco said. 

On early Thursday morning, agents assigned to the Douglas Border Patrol station encountered two Mexican nationals in the country without authorization, said Paco.

As the agents were arresting the men, one refused to comply and punched an agent in the throat and torso before he was subdued, Paco said. 

"These incidents highlight the many dangers Border Patrol agents encounter in the field on a daily basis," said Chief Paul Beeson. "What appears initially to be a simple arrest can quickly escalate into a violent encounter. It is especially dangerous when agents encounter criminals carrying weapons and are willing to evade arrest by any means," Beeson said. 

In the last year, the number of assaults against agents has increased around 23 percent since the previous fiscal year. 

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However, despite the increase agents remain less likely to face assaults compared to 2011, when there were 675 recorded assaults against agents, according to data from the agency. 

The men found with firearms will be handed over to Homeland Security Investigations and face prosecution, said Paco. 

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