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9 killed in drug related violence

world Updated: Nov 17, 2008 10:02 IST

IANS
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At least nine people have been killed in suspected drug related crimes over the past two days in northwestern Mexico, EFE news agency reported, citing officials.

According to the attorney general's office of Baja California province, five people were killed in Tijuana, while three others gunned dwon in in El Rosario, a town south of Ensenada on Saturday.

A businessman was also shot dead on Friday night, the attorney general's office said, adding that all the murders were suspected to be carried out by any drug cartel active in the region.

A total of 630 people have been murdered in Baja California state so far this year, according to tallies published by the press and non-governmental organisations.

Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence, with powerful cartels battling each other and the security forces, as rival gangs vie for control of lucrative smuggling and distribution routes.

Armed groups linked to Mexico's drug cartels murdered around 2,700 people in 2007, and the death toll this year has already crossed the 4,500-mark.

The majority of the killings have occurred in the states of Chihuahua, Baja California and Sinaloa