MONTERREY, Mexico – A total of 18 people were killed and 15 were wounded in several drug-related attacks over the past 12 hours in the northern Mexican states of Durango and Coahuila, officials said Saturday.
The Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office said that in Torreon a group of cartel hit men killed at least eight people early Saturday and wounded 15 who were taking part in the inauguration of a bar in that city.
The border state AG’s office said that massacre occurred at around 1:00 a.m. at the “Juanas” bar.
Authorities said that a group of men armed with automatic rifles arrived at the scene on board four late-model SUVs and opened fire from outside the establishment.
It was the second attack in that city on a nighttime establishment after another armed group killed eight people at the “Ferrie” bar on Jan. 31.
Elsewhere, in the northwestern state of Durango, authorities said they found at least 10 people who had been killed in various violent incidents over the past 12 hours.
The first attack occurred Friday night, when several armed men shot at a police vehicle belonging to the town of Sombrerete, in Zacatecas state. Two police officers and four civilians accompanying them were killed.
In another incident Saturday morning, authorities found four decapitated bodies next to their respective heads inside an abandoned SUV in a parking lot.
The authorities said the heads had not been placed in refrigerators, as has occurred on other occasions.
Nearly 23,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon gave the military the leading role against the cartels.
The northern border states, including Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua, have been among the most violence-ridden areas of the country.