Seventeen top police officers fired in deadly disco stampede

Seventeen top police officers fired in deadly disco stampedeMexico City - Seventeen high-ranking police officers have been fired for their role in a police raid on a disco last week that left nine teenagers and three police officers dead in a stampede, Mexico City authorities said Tuesday.

The city's Public Safety Minister Joel Ortega and police Internal Affairs boss Alberto Peralta said the officers held responsible include directors and deputy directors in several areas of the police department, including Alejandro Garmino Tejeda, who was named "police officer of the year" in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The move came a day after Mexico City authorities made public two videos that showed police played an important part in Friday's tragedy because they blocked the door of the disco News Divine to prevent people from leaving during the raid to investigate reports of underage drinking and drug use.

Twelve people died, most of them by suffocating, amid pushing and desperate shouts for air in the small nightclub, holding some 500 people at the time.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has acknowledged that there were "serious mistakes" by police during the operation, although he also blamed the owner of the disco, who is under arrest. (dpa)