At least 15 killed at nightclub shooting in central Mexico

Another seven people were injured on Saturday when attackers opened fire in Salamanca city.

    At least 15 people have been killed in a shooting at a nightclub in Mexico's violence-wracked Guanajuato state, according to prosecutors.

    Local media reported that another seven people were injured before sunrise on Saturday when a group of armed men pulled up in three vans at the La Playa Men's Club in the city of Salamanca, burst into the premises, and opened fire.

    A video taken after the shooting from the street near the bar showed a line of police vehicles and a woman wailing uncontrollably in the background as an ambulance drove into the area.

    Authorities in central Mexico's Guanajuato state have launched an operation against criminal gangs involved in fuel theft.

    Salamanca, site of the main pipeline belonging to state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), is where fuel thieves have cost the firm around $3bn in recent years.

    More than a decade after the introduction of a militarised effort against drug cartels that has led to some of Mexico's bloodiest years on record, the latest effort will test the new government's ability to curtail the reach of organised crime.

    In late January, a fake bomb was found in a car parked close to the refinery.
         
    Nearby, signs were found threatening Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and demanding that he withdraw soldiers fighting against fuel theft gangs from the area.

    Obrador took office on December 1, 2018, vowing to step up the fight against crime.
         
    Salamanca is less than 100km from Santa Rosa de Lima, where a few days ago authorities conducted an operation against Juan Antonio Yepez, the alleged leader of a fuel-stealing cartel.

    Guanajuato state suffered a doubling of murders last year, making it one of Mexico's most violent regions, official data shows.

    SOURCE: News agencies