MEXICO CITY, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Mexican navy has killed one of the most wanted drug cartel leaders in a clash in northern Mexico's Coahuila state, but his body was later taken from a funeral house, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.
The body, according to Mexican authorities, corresponds to Heriberto Lazcano, alias "El Lazca", head of the Los Zetas Cartel. It was in a funeral home where he had been tested before forensic identification.
Early on Monday, a group of armed men raided the funeral home and took the corpse, the Coahuila state's attorney general Homero Ramos said Tuesday.
The Mexican Navy, which conducted the operation against Los Zetas leader, said fingerprints and photographs had been used to identify the body as Lazcano's before it was lost.
In a message to press, Ramos said Lazcano and another man were killed Sunday in the ballpark of the town of Progreso, as a result of a clash between them and the marine.
Several hours earlier, Mexican Navy had confirmed that one of the two criminals killed in confrontation in Coahuila is Lazcano, the founding leader of the criminal organization "Los Zetas".
In a statement, the Navy reported that "after performing a search on the fingerprint database of fingerprints of the thumb, index and middle taken from the right hand of one of the criminals killed", it is confirmed that the fingerprints belong to Heriberto Lazcano.
The Navy said the analysis of photographic images of criminal shot show that the facial features match those of Lazcano.
Meanwhile, Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Tuesday also confirmed that Lazcano was killed because he resisted the authority during a military operation.
At the opening of a prison in central Mexican city of Guanajuato, Calderon expressed his appreciation to the Navy because the available information has shown "clearly" that Lazcano was "killed while resisting the authority as a result of an operation" conducted in the town of Progreso, in northeastern Mexico.
"This criminal organization is credited with a number of high impact crimes and extreme violence that many communities have suffered across the country," Calderon said.
Los Zetas is a powerful and violent criminal syndicate in Mexico, and is considered by the U.S. government to be the "most technologically advanced, sophisticated, and dangerous cartel operating in Mexico."
Lazcano was among the most wanted drug traffickers in Mexico, as the government offered a reward of 2.3 million U.S dollars for information leading to his apprehension.