At least 11 people were killed and more than a dozen others, including three children, were wounded when gunmen opened fire on a liquor store in San Jose Nacahuil, an Indian community in central Guatemala, officials said Sunday.
Three or four gunmen, suspected of being gang members, carried out the attack in the community, which is located about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) outside Guatemala City, Government Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said.
The gunmen opened fire with 9 mm weapons on people inside the liquor store around 11:00 p.m. Saturday.
The village does not have a National Civilian Police, or PNC, station because residents burned the facility during disturbances in 2007, Lopez said.
A PNC patrol went to the village after receiving unconfirmed reports that an attack might take place, the minister said.
“They had been gone about an hour when the incident occurred,” Lopez said, adding that officials were surprised by the attack because San Jose Nacahuil had a “very low” crime rate.
Guatemala is considered one of the most violent countries in Latin America.
A total of 4,132 murders were registered in the Central American country between January and August, a figure that was up 5.84 percent from the 3,904 killings registered during the same period last year, the National Forensic Sciences Institute, or Inacif, said.