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24 killed in Mexico gangland violence

world Updated: Sep 17, 2009 07:04 IST
Agencies
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At least 24 people have been killed in separate incidents in the northern Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, which has been plagued in a vicious inter-gang drug war in recent times, authorities have said.

According to the police, gunmen armed with assault rifles entered a drug rehabilitation center on Tuesday night in the Papalote neighborhood and killed 10 people, including a woman, while those inside were celebrating the 199th anniversary of Mexico's independence.

Five people were killed at a car wash, five at a bar and the other four were also gunned down in similar attacks, Juarez police spokesman Jacinto Segura told EFE.

The attack on the Life Center is the second such attack in a month on a drug-rehab facility in Juarez. On September 2, 18 people were gunned down at the El Aliviane clinic, which housed 50 people.

The bodies of the nine men and the woman were found in different rooms in the building, the police spokesman said, adding that two people were also apparently wounded in the attack.

Ciudad Juarez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas, lived through the bloodiest month in its history in August, with more than 300 people murdered in drug-related violence.

So far this year, Juarez, considered Mexico's most dangerous city and the scene of frequent shootouts between rival drug traffickers, has registered nearly 1,500 murders, accounting for some 30 per cent of the nearly 5,000 killings reported between January and August across Mexico.

The Juarez drug cartel has been battling the Sinaloa cartel for control of the border region.

Mexican officials, who deployed 8,000 federal police and soldiers in the border metropolis months ago in an effort to reduce the violence, have been unable to put a dent in the murder rate, which is running at about 10 per day in the past month.

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