Five people were killed in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, two in an attack with a “homemade” explosive detonated at a business in this port city, local authorities said.
According to police reports, the bomb exploded Tuesday afternoon on a street in downtown Veracruz, some 300 kilometers (185 miles) east of Mexico City.
A group of armed men entered the establishment, hurled the explosive device at the two people and then fled the scene, the official report said.
Minutes later, army soldiers and marines launched an operation to track down the criminals.
The attack was the second with an explosive device in less than a month in Veracruz. On Aug. 15, a group of assailants fleeing pursuing marines threw a fragmentation grenade that exploded outside the Veracruz Aquarium.
Shrapnel from the blast left one dead and three others injured, all members of a family who were vacationing in the port city.
Separately, the federal Public Safety Secretariat said three people were killed in armed attacks in Coatzacoalcos port, located in the southern part of Veracruz state.
Two people riding in an automobile died in a hail of gunfire, while another person was shot and killed in another neighborhood, the secretariat said.
Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels.
A total of 15,270 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and more than 40,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the country’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.