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Two dead in gang shootout at Mexican tourist resort

Two dead in gang shootout at Mexican tourist resort
Members of the State Police guard the Mexican resort where an armed attack was perpetrated on Thursday. Photo by Alonso Cupul/EPA-EFE

Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Two people are dead after rival drug gangs exchanged gunfire in a dispute over territory at a Mexican tourist resort, authorities said.

The attorney general's office for the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula confirmed the shootout between drug dealers on a beach in Bahia Petempich, Puerto Morelos, which is located about 20 miles south of Cancun.

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State Secretariat of Public Security tweeted that the deceased are presumed drug dealers involved in the shooting.

"There are no seriously injured or kidnapped tourists," it added.

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The shooting erupted due to a territorial dispute, the authorities said.

According to a release from the attorney general's office, a group of four or five members of one gang arrived at the beach at about 11:30 a.m. "and mentioned that they were going to be in charge of selling drugs in that area," and left two people there to traffic narcotics.

At about 2:10 p.m., some 15 members of a second gang showed up and confronted the two members of the rival gang, capturing one of them while the other ran into a "lodging center" where he was killed, the office said.

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The other subject was also killed, it said, adding a third person was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The bodies of the deceased have been transferred to the Forensic Medial Service where they will be identified.

"The attorney general of the state of Quintana Roo will practice all investigative acts to pursue and capture the probable participants of this illegal act," the office said, adding that various departments have begun to collect evidence.

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The State Department told ABC News in a statement that it is aware of the shooting and was "working closely with local authorities to determine if any U.S. citizens were affected," while urging Americans present at the resort to contact loved ones and inform them of their condition.

The shooting comes weeks after a travel blogger and a German national were killed in Quintana Roo's town of Tulum when they were caught in the crossfire of two rival drug gangs.

After the shooting on Thursday, former senator Claudia Anaya Mota compared the shooting to a scene in a horror film.

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"There are those who think that our problem of insecurity is only in the streets. But this is overflowing every day," she tweeted. "Do you think tourists want to keep coming to share our tragedy?"

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