Gang leaders killed in Mexico tourist city

OAXACA – Two alleged leaders of a university student gang were shot to death Friday by gunmen on a motorcycle in the tourist zone of Mexico’s colonial city of Oaxaca.

The killings occurred in front of the former convent of Santo Domingo, a popular tourist attraction in downtown Oaxaca.

The men’s bodies lay on a sidewalk in front of the colonial-era building for some time after the attack. The gunmen fled and have not been identified.

Unidentified assailants wounded another prominent member of the gang Friday, but did not kill him.

The gang was accused of attacking anti-government protesters in 2006.

Oaxaca has largely been spared drug violence plaguing much of Mexico, but suffered anti-government political unrest in 2006.

And in the northern city of Chihuahua, unidentified assailants killed four employees of a bar, state prosecutors’ spokesman Fidel Banuelos said.

The bar, located at the center, was about to open for business for the first time.

Further north in Chihuahua state, in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, a bullet that university officials say was fired by a federal police officer wounded a member of a group protesting the presence of soldiers and federal agents in the city Friday.

The circumstances of the shooting were unclear, though the protesters reportedly exchanged words with federal officers prior to the shooting.

The wounded man was among a group of university students who have held periodic marches and protests against the federal strategy that has flooded the city with troops and agents since 2008. The groups say those forces commit rights violations, and have been unable to stem the violence that has killed about 2,000 in Ciudad Juarez so far this year.

Servando Pineda Jaimes, the spokesman for the Ciudad Juarez Autonomous University, identified the man as a sociology student, and said he suffered severe stomach injuries in the shooting. The federal police were not immediately available to offer any details on the incident.

And in the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City, federal police responding to a shooting on a highway found three people with bullets wounds in one car and another man wounded in a nearby SUV, as well as dead man found in a car further down the road.

Two police vehicles were hit by gunfire, but police did not return fire.

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