Swarm of gunmen kill five in Mexico

At least five people have been killed and seven others wounded after a swarm of gunmen attacked a group of community self-defense members in the western state of Michoacan, an official says.

About 300 masked assailants who were dressed in similar T-shirts entered a crowded city hall in the town of Los Reyes on Monday, killing three members of the group, a police officer and a bystander, said Michoacan state prosecutor spokesperson Alejandro Arellano.

The vigilante group announced that they would clear the region of criminals and take over policing the town.

The group also accused the local police of having ties to organized crime and asked the federal police and soldiers to be deployed to the town.

Self-defense squads have organized in recent months to fight the rampant violence, kidnappings and extortions carried out by drug cartels.

On May 20, Mexican authorities sent thousands of security forces to fight drug-related violence in the region.

Michoacan is one of the countryâ„¢s poorest states and is home to traditional drug routes. It is also a major hub for the production of methamphetamine in Mexico.

Gangs regularly fight over territory in an area of rugged mountains, where they set up laboratories to produce the drug as well as marijuana and opium.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since former President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against Mexicoâ„¢s drug cartels in December 2006.

GMA/PR

Republished with permission from: Press TV