Gunmen shoot dead 11 in bar in brutal massacre as bloody gang violence escalates

A massacre in a bar left 11 people dead in Mexico as the country grapples with a rising murder rate despite the government's pledge to curb gang violence.

The killings happened in one of the country's most violent states, with the attorney general's office saying the bodies of seven men and four women found in the city of Jaral del Progreso, in the state of Guanajuato, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Another woman was found with gunshot wounds at the scene of the crime, authorities said in a press release.

According to reports the four female victims worked as dancers and six gunmen are believed to have carried out the attack.

Organised crime has made Guanajuato, central Mexico, into one of the country's most violent states with 47 police officers killed last year.

It has led President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to bolster security in the region.

His pledge followed the killing of 24 people at a drug rehabilitation centre, marking one of the worst mass slayings since he took office.

Guanajuato is a major hub for car making but has become a recurring scene of criminal violence in Mexico, ravaged by a turf war between the local Santa Rose de Lima gang and the powerful Jalisco New Generation cartel.

The head of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, who has been linked to fuel theft in the state, was captured last month after he threatened the president in response to the crackdown on violence.

Seven other people were killed in two separate shootings elsewhere in Guanajuato this weekend.

That followed two massacres days previously that claimed the lives of 10 people – six women and four men – in Guanajuato, including a pre-dawn attack on a group celebrating at a taco shop.

There have now been almost 350 people killed in around 50 separate incidents since President Obrador took office in December 2018.

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