At least four killed in gunfight in Mexican resort of Cancun

At least four killed in gunfight in Mexican resort of Cancun

Deaths occurred when gunmen opened fire at government offices in the beach resort days after five died at a nearby music festival

At least four people have been killed after gunmen opened fire at government offices in the Mexican beach resort of Cancun, a day after at least five people died in a shooting at a music festival nearby.

Rodolfo del Angel Campos, chief of police for the state of Quintana Roo, said gunfire broke out at the state attorney generals office in Cancun, a city that is one of the most popular seaside destinations for foreign tourists in Mexico.

Police intervened, and the alarm was sounded, activating federal police and the armed forces, del Angel said, adding that other installations were also attacked. Television broadcast outbreaks of afternoon gunfire in Cancun.

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One policeman and three suspected gunmen were killed, and a further five suspects arrested, state governor Carlos Joaquin told Mexican television on Tuesday evening.

The state is under control and in order, Joaquin said, adding that he had arranged with the Interior Ministry to send federal forces to reinforce security. People from Cancun and our visitors can go about their lives as normal.

The centre of the city was tense on Tuesday night. Shortly after the gunbattle at the prosecutors office, a convoy of police trucks descended on the Plaza de las Americas mall where hundreds of shoppers had fled after people reported hearing gunfire. Soldiers in full battle gear cleared the property.

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Later, an official with the prosecutors office said the mall scare proved to be a false alarm.

Mexican soldiers evacuate civilians from a shopping mall after reports of gunfire. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Joaquin, who took office in September, described the attacks as a reaction by gangsters to his crackdown on organised crime, which he said had enjoyed impunity for years.

The ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) has been reviewing disciplinary action against Joaquins predecessor, former PRI state governor Roberto Borge, whom the opposition has accused of fraud and corruption. He denies any wrongdoing.

Lying on the Caribbean coast of eastern Mexico, Quintana Roo has suffered sporadic violence in the past few years as drug cartels battle for control of the lucrative local market.

Changes in power have been known to inflame turf wars between gangs as they fight for supremacy.

On Monday, at least five people were killed and 15 wounded when a gunman opened fire in a nightclub in the resort of Playa del Carmen. The shooting was not being investigated as a suspected terror attack.

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