Two little girls were killed over the weekend during a shootout between suspected drug cartel gunmen in Nayarit, a state in northwestern Mexico, where five other people died, the press reported.
The girls, a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old, died on Sunday, the El Universal newspaper reported on its Web site.
The gunmen used at least two grenades during the shootout, which occurred in the city of Tepic, El Universal said.
Nayarit Gov. Ney Gonzalez expressed his disgust over the killing of “people outside the conflicts being waged” by the gangs, but he did not comment on the total casualties in the incident.
“It is aberrant that (organized crime groups) involve children and take them from their families,” Gonzalez said in a statement posted on the Nayarit state government Web site.
“This war ... appears to have no end in sight,” the governor said, adding that the conflict was brought to Nayarit “from other places without asking for it.”
One of the automobiles involved in the shootout had tags from Sinaloa state, considered the birthplace of Mexico’s most powerful drug traffickers.
In northern Mexico, meanwhile, gunmen killed five people and wounded three others at a bar over the weekend.
The gunmen, who were reportedly led by a woman, attacked a bar early Sunday in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, killing five men, police said.
The gunmen, who were traveling in at least two vehicles, attacked the Desesperados bar around 1:00 a.m. Sunday, police said.
The hitmen took their orders from a woman when they arrived at the bar, eyewitnesses told police.
Four of the victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 25, were identified as Salvador Urrutia, Javier Manriquez, Marco Antonio Velazquez and Mario Enriquez.
The fifth victim has not been identified, police said.
The three wounded men, whose identities were not released due to security reasons, were taken to different hospitals in Ciudad Juarez, a gritty border metropolis located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
Nearly 2,800 people have been murdered this year in Ciudad Juarez, topping the homicide figure for all of last year, the press reported last week.
A total of 350 murders were registered in Ciudad Juarez last month, making October the bloodiest month of the year in the border city, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said in a report.
The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, backed by hitmen from local street gangs, have been fighting for control of the border city.
Ciudad Juarez, where more than 6,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.
The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to state AG’s office figures, with the number of killings climbing to 2,754 last year.
Ciudad Juarez, with 191 homicides per 100,000 residents, was the most violent city in the world in 2009, registering a higher murder rate than San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Caracas and Guatemala City, two Mexican non-governmental organizations said in a report released earlier this year.
The Mexico City daily Reforma reported earlier this month that gangland killings have topped 10,000 this year in the country.
Vehicles involved in the running shootout between 2 rival armed groups that occurred this past weekend in Tepi, Nayarit. Two women in addition to the two young children were shot and killed in the red Camaro shown below. The bodies of five men and various weapons were found in the other vehicles shown below.