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24 killed in drug cartel-plagued Mexican state

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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