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Seven die in shootout at Mexican cemetery

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Seven die in shootout at Mexican cemetery
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Monterrey: Seven people were killed and 17 wounded in a shootout at a cemetery in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, said authorities.

The shootout occurred at 4.20 p.m. Monday at the Panteon del Tiempo cemetery in San Pedro de las Colonias, a city located east of Torreon, state security spokesman Sergio Sisbeles told EFE.

Gunmen riding three vehicles opened fire from outside the grounds on people attending the burial of Ricardo Valdes Bolivar, who was murdered Saturday, the spokesman said.

Valdes Bolivar's associates returned fire, Sisbeles said.

The 27-year-old Valdes Bolivar was gunned down in Tacubaya and a message from a drug cartel was left with his body.

Paramedics, state police and army troops responded to the shooting, cordoning off the area and seizing several firearms.

Torreon is in the La Laguna region, which includes parts of Coahuila and neighboring Durango state.

The region is at the center of a brutal turf war between the Los Zetas and Sinaloa drug cartels, with the Zetas controlling Coahuila's largest cities, including Saltillo, the state capital, Torreon and Piedras Negras.

The attack on mourners at the cemetery in Coahuila was not the first incident of this type to occur in Mexico.

Friends and relatives of a teenager murdered in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in Chihuahua state, had to run for their lives and take the casket with them on Feb. 15, 2011, when gunmen opened fire in a cemetery, wounding a municipal police officer.

More than 50,000 people, according to official figures, have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and declared war on the country's powerful drug cartels.

IANS

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