A violent face-off between two rival Mexican cartels Thursday left at least 11 dead, most of them innocent civilians, and local businesses burning in a border city just miles from El Paso, Texas.
The bloodbath erupted in Juarez when members of Los Mexicles in a local prison attacked members of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel, formerly led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, around 1 p.m., unleashing a prison riot, officials said.
Two inmates at the lockup, CERESO No. 3, were shot dead during the mayhem and 20 were injured, according to Deputy Security Minister Ricardo Mejia.
The carnage then spilled out into the streets, where alleged gangbangers outside of prison went on a rampage, firing off shots and burning up businesses and cars.
At least nine civilians were killed, including an announcer at a local radio station and a woman applying for a job at a convenience store.
“They attacked the civilian, innocent population like a sort of revenge,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said, according to the Associated Press.
“It wasn’t just the clash between two groups, but it got to the point in which they began to shoot civilians, innocent people. That is the most unfortunate thing in this affair.”
One video obtained by the El Paso Times shows afternoon traffic at a standstill as gang members indiscriminately fired at cars on the street.
Terrified residents hid behind stalled cars or desperately tried to outdrive the gunfire.
The gangs continued to terrorize the city into the night.
By Friday morning, 10 suspected gang members had been taken into custody, according to the El Paso newspaper.
The night of violence was the latest escalation in what is believed to be fighting between rival gangs and cartels for control of Juarez — an important drug and human smuggling port of entry.
Juarez is about 10 miles from El Paso, Texas.
In recent days, a beheaded woman and dismembered bodies have been discovered in the city.
The head of a woman was found inside a foam ice chest at a Juarez park on Sunday, reported the El Paso Times.
A dismembered body in a plastic bag was discovered Tuesday and could be linked to the beheaded woman.
With Post wires
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