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Band of gunmen attack hotel, 2 bars in central Mexico; 11 killed

Band of gunmen attack hotel, 2 bars in central Mexico; 11 killed
Authorities said that a group of about 15 gunmen arrived at the scene late on Monday and began firing on a hotel and two bars. Almost a dozen people were killed. File Photo by Ulises Ruiz Basurto/EPA

May 24 (UPI) -- Mexican police are searching for a group of gunmen who opened fire on a hotel and two bars late Monday, killing nearly a dozen people.

The attack occurred at the Gala Hotel in Celaya, which has two adjoining bars. Eleven people were killed and several others were injured.

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Celaya is located about 140 miles northwest of downtown Mexico City.

Police said there were about 15 gunmen who all wore hoods and arrived in two trucks. They fired more than 50 times across the three venues before hurling homemade bombs to set them on fire.

Some at the scene fled into hotel rooms and said that the sustained gunfire lasted for about a minute.

Officials said four of the victims died at the hotel, six people died at the bars and one died later at a hospital.

It wasn't immediately clear who was responsible for the attack, but some suspicion has landed on local crime lords. Hours before the attack on Monday, plastic bags containing human remains were found in the area with written warnings from organized crime bosses.

Various criminal groups operate in Celaya, including the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, a local gang that's been involved in fuel thefts.

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