Little Girls And Mum Die In Army-Gang Crossfire

CENPublished: March 26, 2018
Published: March 26, 2018

Girls aged three and five were killed alongside their mother when they were caught in the crossfire between gangsters and the Mexican army.

The shootout was the last of three related incidents in which criminal gang members ambushed soldiers in the north of Mexico in a single night, according to the army.

A dashcam video shot nearby recorded the sounds of constant gunfire as the battle raged.

The little girls who died were with their parents and a cousin in a van caught between the soldiers and the gang members on a road near Piedras Negras International Airport in the north-eastern Mexican state of Coahuila.

They were named as Abril Rojas, five, and Kenia Azul Rojas, three. Their unnamed mother was also reported to have died.

Their father Efrain Rojas Santos and the girls’ 12-year-old cousin, unnamed, were reported to have been injured.

The Mexican Army published an account of the incident that did not include the girls’ deaths.

The press statement said that gang hitmen had ambushed soldiers in three incidents in various locations in northern Mexico.

In the first, three marines were reportedly injured and a suspect was killed. In the second, marine officers were leaving their base to support their colleagues where they were attacked, says the army. Six officers were injured and an army captain was killed.

In the third attack, the one in which the little girls and their mother died, four officers were reported injured and three suspects killed.

The armed forces reportedly used a helicopter to support ground troops as they battled the gang members.

Coahuila’s state prosecutor released a statement saying: "In the last attack, during a crossfire, the vehicle with two adults and the kids was in the middle."

It added that the injured people had been transferred to the nearest hospital. The conditions of the survivors were not reported.

The mother of the 12-year-old girl injured in the gunfight made the allegation that the army helicopter fired on the van in which her daughter was travelling, though local media report that no witness accounts back up her story.

But the state prosecutor reported that testing of the bullets that killed the little girls and their mother were not of a type used by Mexican forces.

It was not clear whether any arrests were made.

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