11 people found dead after gunmen opened fire on hotel and bars in Mexico

Gunmen killed at least 11 people in an attack on a hotel and two bars in the central Mexican town of Celaya, security officials said on Tuesday.

Police in the town of Celaya said the attacks took place on Monday night at two bars on the same street. They said 10 of the victims died at the scene and another was pronounced dead later at a hospital.

Officials found the bodies when they arrived in the Valle Hermoso neighborhood after reports of gunfire, the unit said in a statement.

According to witnesses, the victims were shot, after which the assailants poured gasoline to set fire to the establishments.

They said the bodies were strewn across plastic tables and chairs, and one was lying on the sidewalk.

More than a dozen gunmen took part in the attack, Mexican newspaper El Universal reported.

A known criminal group in the area left behind business cards claiming responsibility for the massacre.

Guanajuato, a thriving industrial region home to a refinery and a major pipeline, has become one of Mexico’s most violent states due to a dispute between the Santa Rosa de Lima and Jalisco New Generation cartels. The Ministry of Justice considered the Jalisco Cartel as “one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world”.

In this photo from February 12, 2020, police officers stand guard behind a parapet of sandbags, at the entrance to Santa Rosa de Lima, birthplace of a local cartel of the same name, in the state of Guanajuato, in Mexico.

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Gangs fight for control of drug and stolen fuel smuggling routes.

In March, 20 people were shot and killed at a venue often used to arrange illegal cockfighting bets in neighboring Michoacan state. A american mother out of four were among the victims.

Since December 2006, when the government launched a controversial military operation against drugs, Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 murders, according to official figures.

In April, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed that Mexico had disbanded a special unit trained by US authorities to fight drug cartels as he was infiltrated by criminals.

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