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"Execution" of six men and three women shakes usually peaceful town, Mexico official says

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Gunmen killed nine people in an attack on a house in central Mexico, in the latest outbreak of violence linked to suspected drug gangs, authorities said Wednesday. The "execution" of six men and three women on Tuesday night shook a middle-class area of the usually peaceful town of Atlixco, said Puebla state governor Miguel Barbosa.

"According to initial information, it was a place for the sale and distribution of drugs," he said at a news conference, adding that the victims' identities were unknown.

Members of the Mexican army walk near the house where nine people were killed in Atlixco
Members of the Mexican army walk near the house where nine people were killed by unknown assailants, according to local media, in Atlixco, Mexico March 9, 2022. IMELDA MEDINA/REUTERS

A resident who asked not to be identified told reporters that armed men had arrived in trucks, entered the house and started shooting.

Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 murders since launching a controversial anti-drug military operation in 2006, most of them blamed on fighting between criminals.

Last month, an armed attack believed to be the result of a gang dispute was reported to have killed up to 17 people at a wake in the state of Michoacan.

Both the gunmen and their victims apparently belonged to the Jalisco cartel. The Department of Justice considers the Jalisco cartel "one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world." 

A video circulating on social media showed gunmen pointing at a group of people standing against a wall with their hands raised, followed by the sound of gunfire.

The gunmen went to pains to erase signs of the confrontation, including power-washing blood from the street.

The government said it was unable to confirm the death toll because no bodies were found, although DNA samples of 11 possible victims were collected at the site.

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