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Friends and family in shock after last night's shooting. Friends and family in shock after last night's shooting.

Veracruz massacre: 13 dead after gang opens fire during family party

4 people were wounded in the attack in Minatitlán

Thirteen people including an infant boy were killed last night when a gang of armed men opened fire at a bar during a family celebration in Minatitlán, Veracruz.

The Secretariat of Public Security said that unidentified gunmen arrived at La Potra bar in the Obrera neighborhood to look for the owner, a man known as “El Becky.”

The motive for the attack is unknown, authorities said.

Four other people were wounded and are being treated in the Pemex regional hospital in Minatitlán, a city in the south of Veracruz that is home to one of Mexico’s six state-owned oil refineries.

Public Security Secretary Hugo Gutiérrez Maldonado said on Twitter that state and federal security forces launched an operation to search for the perpetrators of the crime but no arrests have been reported.

Survivors of the attack said the gunmen forced their victims to look at them before they shot them.

“They told them to turn around to see them, to see them while they were killing them,” one woman said. “I felt the gun at my head . . . the guy pointed it at me but didn’t shoot.”

Another woman whose brother was killed said: “There were about six of them. Even if you had a baby in your arms, they still shot you.”

Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García wrote on Twitter after midnight that he had attended an emergency meeting to “attend to the appalling and reprehensible incident in the south” of the state. He pledged that the crime would not go unpunished.

Veracruz is one of the most violent states in Mexico, and in the first months of this year it has recorded the highest number of kidnappings and femicides.

There has also been an increase in cartel violence in the state since García was sworn in as governor on December 1.

President López Obrador, who has vowed to reduce the high levels of violence in Mexico, is scheduled to visit Veracruz tomorrow to attend a ceremony at a military school.

On Monday, he will chair a meeting to discuss and coordinate security strategies in the state, according to a government schedule published before yesterday’s attack.

Source: El Financiero (sp), e-consulta (sp), AFP (en) 

UPDATE: The number of people murdered was originally stated to be 14. 

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