23 killed in attack on bar in southern Mexico

Soldiers gather near a crime scene following a deadly attack at a bar by unknown assailants in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico August 28, 2019. Photo: Reuters

MEXICO: An attack on a bar in Mexico’s Gulf coast city of Coatzacoalcos killed 23 people and injured 13 late on Tuesday.

The attackers started a fire that ripped through the bar, killing 8 women and 15 men. Photos of the scene showed tables and chairs jumbled around, apparently as people tried to flee.

State police identified the establishment as the “Bar Caballo Blanco,” and said the search was continuing for the attackers.

The fire may have been started with gasoline bombs.

It came almost eight years to the day after a fire started in 2011 at a casino in the northern city of Monterrey killed 52 people. The Zetas drug cartel staged that attack to enforce demands for protection payments.

The Zetas, now splintered, have also been active in Coatzacoalcos.

The attack, along with the killing of 19 people in the western city of Uruapan earlier this month, is likely to renew fears that the public, theatrical violence of the 2006-2012 drug war has returned.