Gunmen kill 17 at party in Mexico
Added At: 2010-07-19 11:11 PM
Last Updated At: 2010-07-20 11:11 PM
PIEDRAS; The gunmen did not say a word as they jumped from their cars and stormed the private party. They simply opened fire. When they were done, 17 people lay dead and 18 wounded.
Sunday’s massacre in the city of Torreon was ghastly, but no longer unprecedented in northern Mexico, a region that is slammed day after day by gruesome slayings that authorities attribute to an increasingly brutal battle between drug gangs feuding over territory.
Investigators had no suspects or information on a possible motive in the attack, but Coahuila, where Torreon is located, is among several northern Mexican states that have seen a spike in drug-related violence as the Gulf cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, fight for control of drug-trafficking routes. The attack on the party came just three days after a car bomb killed several people in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez — and a little more than a month after assailants raided a drug-rehab centre in the northern city of Chihuahua, killing 19 people in cold blood. Television footage showed the patio of the house in Torreon streaked with bloodstains and white plastic chairs overturned beneath a party tent decorated with pictures of snowmen.
Several of the victims were young and some were women, police said, but their identities and ages had not yet been determined. The assailants arrived in a convoy of vehicles, the Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement. Police found more than 120 bullet casings at the scene, most of them from .223-caliber weapons. Torreon is no stranger to violence. In May, gunmen killed eight people at a bar in the city, while later that month a television station and the offices of a local newspaper came under fire. A pregnant woman was wounded in the attack on the offices of Noticias de El Sol de la Laguna. Across northern Mexico, there have been reports of mass shootings at parties, bars and rehab clinics.
In January, gunmen barged into a party in Ciudad Juarez and killed 15. Relatives say that attack was a case of mistaken identity, while state officials claim someone at the party was targeted, although they have not said who it was.