Fifteen people, including 11 members of one family who were shot while still in their beds, died in a series of attacks by gunmen in the capital of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, officials said on Saturday.
The attacks took place late Friday and early Saturday in Ciudad Victoria, in which six minors were also killed. While officials didn’t specify who was behind the violence, factions of the splintered Zetas Cartel are fighting for control of the city.
Herminio Garza Palacios, secretary of government in Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, said in a videoconference that the most serious attack took place early Saturday morning when gunmen entered a home and killed 11 members of the same family while they were sleeping. Shortly afterward, three people were killed in a neighbourhood in Ciudad Victoria.
A statement from the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, which is in charge of security in the state, said that four girls died in the first attack and another minor was killed in the second.
Also, reports from the police ministry to which The Associated Press had access said that more attacks took place around the city overnight, including one on a bus station that left a 16-year-old dead. Assailants also attacked a home with a grenade and burned it down.
The violent Zetas Cartel has splintered into factions following the capture or killing of many of its leaders. Authorities say various factions are fighting for control of Ciudad Victoria, including a group called “Zetas Old School” and the so-called “Northeast Cartel,” a grouping of factions led by the family of captured Zeta leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, or Z40.
Authorities say the battle for Ciudad Victoria began in late 2015 and has claimed at least 100 lives.
In another traditional Zetas bastion — the city of Nuevo Laredo on the Texas border — a series of cartel threats and internet warnings that people should stay off the streets created a climate of collective fear on Saturday. The messages warned of attacks on bars and businesses controlled by rival factions.