MEXICO CITY—Gunmen burst into a neighborhood bar in the capital city of the northern border state of Chihuahua and opened fire, killing at least 15 people before fleeing, authorities said Saturday.
The state prosecutor’s office said three to four attackers stormed the El Colorado bar in the capital, which is also called Chihuahua, late Friday, apparently hunting for someone. Another person was wounded in the shooting and another survived by hiding, said Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.
Two local Mexican journalists were among the victims, officials said, but were not believed to have been targets. Officials said the investigation was still in early stages.
The state of Chihuahua has registered soaring murder rates since 2008 in large part because it is home to Ciudad Juarez, where a turf war between rival drug-trafficking groups has made it one of the world’s deadliest cities. Many of the killings have occurred in bars.
Although the capital, Chihuahua, has been more peaceful, it has seen other episodes of extreme violence. Two years ago, 19 people were killed when a squad of gunmen stormed a drug-treatment center there and opened fire.
More than 50,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on drug cartels after taking office in 2006. Most of the deaths have occurred amid fighting between rival crime groups.
The bar hit Friday is a hole in the wall. "It’s a very small bar," Gonzalez said. "“It’s basically one big room."
-- Ken Ellingwood