Photo: Drug Cartel Violence
Eight people were killed and four others wounded in attacks staged by gunmen over the weekend in the northern Mexican states of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, officials said.
Gunmen opened fire with assault rifles on a group of people in Torreon, a city in Coahuila, killing five people and wounding four others, prosecutors said.
“Two people died at the scene and first aid was provided to seven others who were wounded. Two of the wounded died later at University Hospital and another later at the Red Cross (Hospital),” the Coahuila Attorney General’s Office said.
The shooting happened around midnight Saturday in Nueva Rosita, a district in the western section of Torreon.
“Subjects aboard a white automobile opened fire with large-caliber weapons on several people,” the AG’s office said.
A 15-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were pronounced dead from gunshot wounds to the head at the scene, while Red Cross paramedics assisted six men and a woman.
Investigators found 16 .223-caliber bullet casings from AR-15 assault rifles at the crime scene, the AG’s office said.
The Sinaloa and Los Zetas drug cartels have been fighting for control of Torreon, resulting in a series of massacres over the past three years.
Police in Nuevo Leon, meanwhile, found three bodies in a city outside Monterrey, the state capital and Mexico’s most important industrial city.
The bodies of three men and a message to a drug cartel were found early Sunday in Cadereyta, located 37 kilometers (23 miles) east of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon State Investigations Agency, or AEI, said.
The government said earlier this month that 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence between January and September 2011 in Mexico, an increase of 11 percent from the same period in the prior year.
Mexico’s drug war death toll stood at 47,515 from December 2006 to Sept. 30.
The murder total has grown every year of President Felipe Calderon’s military offensive against the well-funded, heavily armed drug cartels.
Unofficial tallies published in December by independent daily La Jornada put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000.