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Violence in Mexican border towns kills 11, stores burned down

#Violence #Mexican #border #towns #kills #stores #burned

A spate of violence in a Mexican town bordering the United States has killed 11 people, including a radio host, and set fire to businesses, authorities said on Friday.

In the first incident in Ciudad Juarez, two prison inmates were shot dead and 20 injured in a riot between two rival gangs, Deputy Security Minister Ricardo Mejia told reporters.

Local media said both groups are linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, whose former leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is currently serving a life sentence in the United States.

Later, “innocent civilians were attacked as a form of retaliation” by one of the gangs, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

Two women were killed and one other injured in an attack on a grocery store that was set on fire along with two other premises in Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Gunmen also killed four radio station employees, including a presenter, while attending a promotional event outside a pizzeria.

Officials said the case was being investigated under an official mechanism to protect journalists.

At least 13 other media workers have been murdered in Mexico so far this year, according to human rights groups one of the deadliest years for the Mexican press.

Six suspected gang members have been arrested in connection with Thursday’s violence in Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mejia said, without giving details of the other three people killed.

Chihuahua Governor Maru Campos said state and federal agencies have been deployed to restore order in the city of 1.5 million people.

Several parts of Juarez were deserted after the bloodshed, some universities canceled classes on Friday and the local Chamber of Commerce urged the government to do more to tackle organized crime.

The killings came just two days after cartel-related violence flared up in the eastern and central states of Jalisco and Guanajuato, killing a suspected criminal, arresting 16 and burning down 25 businesses and several vehicles.

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