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13 massacred at party in Mexican border city

Protesters in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, carry a sign Friday saying “Enough with the violence and lack of security and ineptness of municipal, state and federal governments and lawmakers.’’

Associated Press

Protesters in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, carry a sign Friday saying “Enough with the violence and lack of security and ineptness of municipal, state and federal governments and lawmakers.’’

Associated Press

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Gunmen stormed two homes and massacred 13 young people at a birthday party in the latest large-scale attack in this violent border city .

Attackers in two vehicles pulled up to the houses in a lower-middle-class Ciudad Juarez neighborhood late Friday and opened fire on about four dozen people gathered to celebrate a teenager's birthday.

The dead identified so far were 13 to 32 years old, including six women and girls, Chihuahua state Attorney General Carlos Salas said at a news conference at the crime scene. Most of the victims were teens or people in their early 20s.

Salas said a total of 20 people were wounded, including a 9-year-old boy. Authorities earlier gave lower numbers for the wounded because some victims were taken by relatives to hospitals throughout the city and were not immediately located.

Police found 70 bullet casings from assault weapons typically used by drug gangs whose bloody turf battles have killed more than 2,000 people this year in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

But Salas said the attackers escaped, and police said had no immediate information on any suspects or possible motive.

The Interior Department condemned the killings in a statement and pledged "to help the efforts of state and local authorities re-establish order in Ciudad Juarez."

Residents of Ciudad Juarez, one of the world's deadliest cities, no longer go out much to celebrate because of a violent turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels, who frequently attack their rivals in bars, restaurants, drug rehab centers and other public places.

But increasingly, even private parties at homes have been attacked, with several such shootings in recent weeks..

"The criminals do not respect families or their homes," Salas said. "How can they wound young women, how can they severely wound a 9-year-old boy, how is it possible that a group of youths gathering to hold a birthday party wind up like this?"

13 massacred at party in Mexican border city 10/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 23, 2010 7:43pm]
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