By Abimbola Ogunnaike with agency report
Police Authourities in Mexico have confirmed that gunmen killed 24 people at a drug rehabilitation facility in the country central city of Irapuato on Wednesday.
Police in the city in Guanajuato State said the unidentified attackers also shot and wounded seven people in what was the second attack at an Irapuato rehab center in the past month.
Photos from the scene shared to newsmen by police showed at least 11 prone and bloodied bodies in a room.
Police said in a statement that three of the wounded were in critical condition, and that the facility was not formally registered.
Guanajuato’s Attorney General, Carlos Zamarripa, explained he had designated a specialized team to investigate the killing, which he called a “cowardly criminal act,” while Governor Diego Sinhue called for a joint effort from federal and state authorities to stop the violencetackle violence.
The attack was one of the worst mass killings since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office 19 months ago, pledging to reduce record levels of violence.
But homicides hit a new record last year and are trending higher still in 2020.
Guanajuato, a major car making hub, has become one of the principal flashpoints of criminal violence in Mexico, ravaged by a turf war between the local Santa Rosa de Lima gang and the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
According to federal data, Guanajuato registered 1,405 homicides this year through May, more than any other state.
It would be recalled that on June 6, gunmen opened fire at a different addiction rehab center in Irapuato, killing 10 men.
Rehab centers are known to have been targeted by criminal gangs waging battles for control of the drug business.
At least 26 people were killed in an arson attack by suspected gang members on a bar in the southern port of Coatzacoalcos last August.