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Mayoral candidate, young girl among 6 people shot dead at campaign rally in Mexico

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A mayoral candidate and five other people were killed when people opened fire at a campaign rally in southern Mexico state of Chiapas, officials said, marking yet another shooting in an area known as a trafficking route for migrant and drug smuggling that has been hit by cartel turf battles.

State prosecutors said a young girl was among the six people killed in the gunfire late Thursday, along with mayoral candidate Lucero López Maza. Two people also were wounded.

"A confrontation broke out between armed civilians during a political campaign event," prosecutors said in a statement.

It was unclear whether López Maza was the intended target of the attack, because shootings have become so common and widespread in the area.

The mass shooting occurred at a crossroads in the rural town of La Concordia, Chiapas, about 80 miles from the border with Guatemala.

The area near the Guatemalan border is a major smuggling route for drugs and migrants, and smiMexico's two main drug cartels have been fighting for control of the region.

On Tuesday, 11 people were killed in mass shootings in a village in the township of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, a few dozen miles away from La Concordia.

Chiapas draws tourists with its lush jungle, Indigenous communities and ancient Mayan ruins.

But the border area has been plagued by violence as the rival Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels battle for territory. Just last month, masked men stopped a vehicle carrying Mexico's leading presidential candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, while she was traveling between campaign stops to ask that she address the violence in Chiapas if she wins the June 2 election.

About 20 Mexican political candidates have been killed so far in 2024 before next month's elections — including one mayoral hopeful who was shot dead last month just as she began campaigning.

AFP contributed to this report.

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