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52 Dead After Gunmen In Northern Mexico Ignite Fire At Casino

Smoke billows from the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Mexico on Thursday.
Smoke billows from the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Mexico on Thursday.

Yesterday afternoon, witnesses said a group of gunmen entered a packed casino in Monterrey, Mexico. Their faces were covered and they ordered everyone out, saying they were about to burn the place. People inside tried find a way out, but in their rush to get away from the gunmen, some headed to faraway corners or the second floor. Meanwhile the men doused the place with gasoline and set it on fire.

The Mexican daily El Universal reports that the second story of the Casino Royale collapsed and 52 people were killed because of smoke inhalation or because they burned to death. Mexican authorities are calling it an act of terror linked to organized crime.

Mexican president Felipe Caderon declared three days of mourning.

The AP reports:

Calderon says the assailants who set fire to the Casino Royale are "true terrorists who have gone beyond all limits."

Calderon said in a message to the nation that it's "the worst attack against innocent civilians that Mexico has seen in a long time."

Noticias Univision reports that no one has taken responsibility for the attack.

The AP adds that this incident is one of the deadliest, since President Calderon launched an offensive against drug cartels in 2006.

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