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Upsurge in Tijuana drug violence kills 13

Upsurge in Tijuana drug violence kills 13
A decaying part of the U.S.- Mexican border fence in a canyon called Smugglers Gulch lies open, May 13, 2006 on the border of San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. The border fence runs from the Gulf of Mexico in Texas ending in the Pacific Ocean. (UPI Photo/Earl S.Cryer) | License Photo

TIJUANA, Mexico, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Tijuana's drug wars flared up again this week with 13 people killed within two days, Mexican police said.

The string of killings that started Sunday night included shootings and two headless bodies hung from a bridge over a highway to Rosarito Beach, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.

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It was not known whether the deaths were all related, but authorities said rivalry between small-scale drug dealers has reignited violence.

Last week, President Felipe Calderon hailed Tijuana's improved security situation and the resilience of its people as he opened Tijuana Innovadora, a series of conferences aimed at improving the tourist city's image and drawing investment.

The slayings broke a lull of several months when few highly visible crimes occurred and calm was restored to busy areas of the city. Despite the setback, law enforcement officials maintained the current situation is a far cry from the worst of times during the past three years.

In 2008 and 2009, heavily armed criminal gangs openly drove around Tijuana and police had to patrol in caravans to protect themselves from ambushes.

Authorities emphasized Tuesday that in several of this week's killings, the victims had criminal records.

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