24 killed in drug cartel-plagued Mexican state
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 24, 2011, 15:10
Culiacan: Attacks in the home state of Mexico's most powerful drug cartel left 24 people dead and 17 of the victims' bodies were found burned in two pickup trucks, officials have said.

Authorities are investigating whether the attacks in the Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa are related.

Neighbours called police after seeing a pickup truck on fire early yesterday in the Antonio Rosales neighbourhood of state capital Culiacan, said state Attorney General Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez.

Investigators found 12 bodies in the back of the truck, some of them handcuffed and wearing bulletproof vests, Higuera said. Authorities are trying to determine if some of the victims were part of a group of nine people, including three police officers, who were kidnapped in the town of Angostura on Monday.

Minutes after the first fire was reported, authorities received another call about a truck burning behind a store. Police found four bodies inside that vehicle. All the victims had been shot.

Hours later, Mexico's federal Interior Department, which is in charge of domestic security, issued a statement saying it "energetically condemned" the killings, and placed the number of dead in the two vehicles at 17.

Also yesterday in Sinaloa, four men were shot to death in the town of Mocorito and another three were killed in the town of Guamuchil, Higuera said.

Sinaloa is the cradle of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, led by Mexico's most wanted fugitive, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The cartel has been fighting the Beltran Leyva cartel in the state since the gang split off in 2008.


First Published: Thursday, November 24, 2011, 15:05

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