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Ciudad Juarez cries for its slain youths

— Families on Sunday mourned the victims of one of Mexico’s worst shootings, weeping over the open coffins of teenagers as young as 14 as Ciudad Juarez residents expressed outrage at the surging violence.

Crowding around the bodies in white and gray coffins, parents and friends sobbed as they bid farewell to the 14 people killed at a family birthday party on Friday night in the Mexican city that is the epicenter of the country’s drug war. The toll rose from 13 after an 18-year-old victim died of his wounds.

“This can’t be happening. Today it’s them who are killed, and tomorrow who will be next?” said a sister of one of the victims, who gave only her first name, Miriam.

In the nearby northern state of Coahuila, two women and a teenage boy died earlier Sunday after being caught in crossfire during a shootout between unidentified gunmen, police and soldiers, state prosecutors said.

In the nearby northern state of Coahuila, two women and a teenage boy died earlier Sunday after being caught in crossfire during a shootout involving unidentified gunmen, police and soldiers, state prosecutors said. The victims were a 14-year-old boy and two women, 18 and 47, the prosecutors said.

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Three gunmen also died Sunday in a separate shootout in another Coahuila city, Torreon.

The shooting on Friday was the second massacre at a party this month in Ciudad Juarez.

Police in the state of Chihuahua where the attack took place declined to say if there was any progress in the search for the gunmen. They were trying to identify the killers using artist impressions based on witness reports, a source in the prosecutor’s office said.

One father told the newspaper El Diario that the gunmen drove up to the house and asked about a local criminal. When those in the front patio said they didn’t know of him, the men started shooting. “Ah, you’re not going to talk? Give it to all of them,” they said, the paper quoted the father as saying.


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