Officers inspect surroundings where illegal cockfights take place in Zinapecuaro, Mexico, on Sunday. AFP
Three women were among the dead after the attack late on Sunday near the town of Zinapecuaro.
The attackers apparently planned the attack, and entered in a stolen truck owned by a snack food company, according to prosecutors.
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"The snack food company truck arrived, and several armed people in camoflauge clothing got out,” a prosecutors' statement said. "At the same moment, a bus that was outside the building was used as a blockade,” apparently to prevent victims from escaping or calling for help, it said.
Investigators found 15 vehicles that apparently belonged to the victims, one of which bore stickers with the logo of a criminal gang.
Army officers and Michoacan state prosecutors inspect the cockfighting site in Zinapecuaro, Mexico. AP
Prosecutors said drug cartels and other criminal gangs had been fighting in the area.
"There are indications that the attack involved a confrontation between criminal groups,” the federal Public Safety Department said in a statement. It added that a team of federal investigators had been sent to the scene.
Michoacan has been the scene of a longstanding turf battle between local cartels and the Jalisco cartel, from the neighboring state of Jalisco. The fighting has included the use of bomb-dropping drones, landmines and home-made armored cars.
Cock fighting, while illegal in many areas, remains a popular pastime in parts of Mexico, though the fights are usually held clandestinely.
State officials said in a statement that they were investigating to determine the cause of death. The corpses were found in Fresnillo, one of the largest cities in the central mining state.
The discovery of the bodies was another reminder of the task facing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December vowing to reduce the gang-fuelled violence.
The office said police and soldiers had been sent to secure the area, where groups allied with the Sinaloa cartel have been fighting other gangs, including a remnant of the Beltran Leyva gang and others aligned with the Juarez cartel.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed expressed his thanks to Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad for his congratulations and the sincere fraternal feelings he showed, wishing the brotherly State of Qatar and its people further progress and development.
Sheikh Sultan’s statement reads, “The Ruler of Sharjah congratulates Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his appointment as Vice President."
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