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At least 40 killed in Mexico in 24-hour period

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Battles between the vicious Zetas gang and other drug cartels led to the discovery of more than 40 bodies in a 24-hour span, a government official said Saturday.

At least 20 people were killed and five injured when gunmen opened fire in a bar late Friday in the northern city of Monterrey, where the gang is fighting its former ally, the Gulf Cartel, said federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire.

Eleven bodies shot with high-powered rifles were found earlier Friday, piled near a water well on the outskirts of Mexico City, where the gang is fighting the Knights Templar, Poire said. That is an offshoot of the La Familia gang that has terrorized its home state of Michoacan.

He said another 10 people were found dead early Saturday in various parts of the northern city of Torreon, where the gang is fighting the Sinaloa cartel headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

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“The violence is a product of this criminal rivalry … surrounding the intent to control illegal activities in a community, and not the only the earnings that come with it, but also with transporting drugs to the United States,” Poire said in a news conference.

Poire provided no more details on the killings in Torreon in the border state of Coahuila. Coahuila state officials said the 10 bodies in Torreon had been mutilated and left in a sports-utility vehicle. Seven of the victims were men and three were women, and all had been killed several days earlier, said Fernando Olivas, a state prosecutor’s representative in Torreon.

In Monterrey, 16 people died at the Sabino Gordo bar in the worst mass killing in memory in the northern industrial city, where violence has spiked since the Gulf and Zetas broke their alliance early last year. Four others died later at the hospital and five were injured, said Jorge Domene, security spokesman for the state of Nuevo Leon, where Monterrey is located.

Other downtown businesses closed earlier than usual after news of the massacre broke.


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