Gunmen kill US Mormon family members in Mexico attack


At least five United States citizens have been killed in a violent attack by suspected drug cartel gunmen in northern Mexico.

The attack is thought to be have been carried out by a drug cartel which operates between Chihuahua and Sonora states.

The victims – a mother and four children – are members of the LeBaron family, linked to a breakaway Mormon community which settled in Mexico several decades ago.

LeBaron family members were quoted as saying a group of three mothers and their 14 children had set off in a convoy of cars from Bavispe in Sonora state and were heading to La Mora in the neighbouring state of Chihuahua.

They were ambushed by gunmen in Bavispe and a burnt-out SUV was later found by the side of the road with the remains of the victims.

Family members have identified those inside the SUV as Rhonita Miller LeBaron and her four children: six-month-old twins, an eight-year-old and a 10-year-old.

Local media say the attack could have been a case of mistaken identity for that of a rival gang.

The governments of Chihuahua and Sonora states have issued a joint statement saying that an investigation has been launched into the incident.

LeBaron community of northern Mexico is being fought over by two rival gangs, La Línea, which has links to the larger Juárez cartel, and “Los Chapos”, which is part of the Sinaloa cartel.

Last month, members of the Sinaloa cartel clashed with security forces in Culiacán after Ovidio Guzmán, one of their leaders and son of the jailed drug lord, El Chapo was arrested. But the police released Guzmán, after they were outgunned by his men.

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