9 killed in attack on wake in Mexico’s Guanajuato state

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nine people were killed and one wounded when gunmen opened fire at a wake the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, officials said.

Public safety officials in the city of Celaya said in a statement the gunmen arrived late Thursday night. Local press reported that the wake was held for a man murdered a day earlier. Images from the scene showed bodies strewn in the street.

Guanajuato is at the center of the bloody turf war between rival organized crime groups. There was no immediate report of who was responsible for the killings. Thousands have been killed in Guanajuato since the local Santa Rosa de Lima gang faced off with the Jalisco New Generation cartel in 2017.

Authorities captured the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima gang in August, but the violence has continued.

The Santa Rosa gang grew up in a farming hamlet of the same name by stealing fuel from government pipelines and refineries and robbing freight from trains. But after authorities stepped up security around trains and pipelines over the last two years, the gang turned to extortion and kidnapping.

The Jalisco New Generation cartel has been Mexico’s most violent in recent years, aggressively expanding its reach across the country through bold attacks against its rivals and government forces.

Their conflict has made Guanajuato — home to charming San Miguel Allende, a popular retirement spot for Americans — Mexico’s deadliest state.

In September, gunmen killed 11 people in a bar in Jaral del Progreso near the border with Michoacán state. More than two dozen people were killed in an unregistered drug rehabilitation center in Irapuato in July.

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