Mexican soldiers suspected in seven disappearances

Mexican military investigators have found evidence showing that soldiers were likely involved in the disappearance of seven young people in northern Zacatecas state, the defense ministry said Monday.

Mexico: Mexican military investigators have found evidence showing that soldiers were likely involved in the disappearance of seven young people in northern Zacatecas state, the defense ministry said Monday.

Relatives of the two women and five men have told local media that they were detained by soldiers in a house in the town of Calera on July 7.

Their bodies were found in a neighboring town with signs of torture and execution-style bullet wounds to the head over the weekend, or 11 days later, according to their families.

The defense ministry said in a statement that military prosecutors "found evidence of a probable participation of military personnel" in connection with "the disappearance" of the group.

The statement does not say whether the soldiers are suspected of murder, or how many troops were investigated.

The military is sharing its investigation with the civilian attorney general`s office, the statement said.

It is the latest allegation of abuse to hit Mexico`s armed forces.

Three soldiers have been charged with murder over the suspected extrajudicial execution of at least eight of 22 gang suspects in central Mexico last year. Another four soldiers face lesser charges of violating public service rules.

On Sunday, a vigilante group in the western state of Michoacan accused soldiers of attacking civilians who protested the arrest of their leader in the municipality of Aquila.

A 12-year-old boy died from a gunshot wound while four other people were hurt, including two other minors. The army blamed an armed group for the casualties.

Troops have faced several allegations of committing abuses since they were deployed in 2006 to combat drug cartels.

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