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Prosecutors: gunmen in Mexico massacre of 27 had a target

July 6, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Martha Alvarado, sitting, is comforted in her home during the wake for her son Jorge Bravo who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack at a drug rehabilitation center where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico. New government figures show the number of homicides in Mexico has grown 1.9% during the new coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Monday, July 20, however, the killings at this rehab center were not included in the new data.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)
FILE - In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Martha Alvarado, sitting, is comforted in her home during the wake for her son Jorge Bravo who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack at a drug rehabilitation center where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico. New government figures show the number of homicides in Mexico has grown 1.9% during the new coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Monday, July 20, however, the killings at this rehab center were not included in the new data.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)
FILE - In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Martha Alvarado, sitting, is comforted in her home during the wake for her son Jorge Bravo who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack at a drug rehabilitation center where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico. New government figures show the number of homicides in Mexico has grown 1.9% during the new coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Monday, July 20, however, the killings at this rehab center were not included in the new data.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)
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FILE - In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Martha Alvarado, sitting, is comforted in her home during the wake for her son Jorge Bravo who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack at a drug rehabilitation center where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico. New government figures show the number of homicides in Mexico has grown 1.9% during the new coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Monday, July 20, however, the killings at this rehab center were not included in the new data. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)
1 of 3
FILE - In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Martha Alvarado, sitting, is comforted in her home during the wake for her son Jorge Bravo who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack at a drug rehabilitation center where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico. New government figures show the number of homicides in Mexico has grown 1.9% during the new coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Monday, July 20, however, the killings at this rehab center were not included in the new data. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The gunmen who killed at least 27 people in an unregistered drug rehabilitation center in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato last week were looking for someone in particular, state prosecutors said Monday.

In a statement, the Guanajuato state prosecutor’s office said that three suspected gunmen were in custody and allegedly belong to a criminal organization operating in the area, though the agency did not specify which group.

The men arrived at the two-story rehabilitation center in Irapuato Wednesday evening and forced their way past women on the ground floor. Upstairs they burst into the room holding the center’s male patients and made them all lay face down on the floor. They asked if they knew where a certain person was and when the men answered no, the gunmen opened fire, the statement said. It did not identify the person being sought.

The gunmen killed 21 men upstairs in that room and three more they encountered on their way out downstairs. Three more who were wounded have since died of their injuries.

The state is the scene of a bloody turf battle between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and a local gang - the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel - and the state has become the most violent in Mexico.