Mexican border city attack kills 10, including child

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2013 3:42 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A group of gunmen shot dead 10 people, including a six-year-old girl, on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, a troubled Mexican city on the U.S. border that has been wracked by violent drug traffickers.

The attorney general's office in Chihuahua state said on Monday seven men and two women died with the child after the gunmen pulled up in a vehicle and began shooting at the group, which was celebrating after a baseball game late on Sunday.

Ciudad Juarez has suffered from turf wars between ruthless drug cartels fighting for control of border smuggling routes. It was the most violent city in the country for several years until the death toll eased in 2012.

The killing of the 10 people was one of the worst attacks to hit the border city over the past two years.

Nine of the victims died at the scene, and one in hospital, said Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesman for the attorney general's office in Chihuahua, of which Ciudad Juarez is the biggest city.

"The people killed were not armed, they were attacked suddenly," Gonzalez said, adding the motive was still unclear.

President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December, pledging to reduce the cartel violence, which soared under his conservative predecessor, Felipe Calderon.

Calderon sent in the armed forces to bring the traffickers to heel, but as their cartels splintered, killings rose.

Around 70,000 people died in the explosion of gang-related violence under Calderon, and the homicide count has eased under Pena Nieto. However, the bloody turf wars are still claiming almost 1,000 lives a month, according to official figures.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Sandra Maler)