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Mexican security official dies in ambush

By Nick Valencia, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jorge Luis Murillo Espinoza was killed Friday in the state of Sinaloa
  • More than 45 bullet casings were found on the scene
  • Sinaloa is home to Mexico's most powerful drug cartel
RELATED TOPICS
  • Mexico
  • Assassination

(CNN) -- Gunmen shot dead the Sinaloa state director of Mexico's security agency, the agency said Saturday.

Jorge Luis Murillo Espinoza, head of the Protective Services for the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) in Sinaloa, was killed Friday on the streets of Culiacan, ministry spokesman Amador Mendoza told CNN.

More than 45 bullet casings littered the scene. Three other members of the SSP, believed to be Murillo's bodyguards, were also killed.

Photos posted on local newspaper websites showed at least three vehicles at the scene full of bullet holes.

Despite what appeared to be a coordinated attack against Murillo, he was not the likely target, said Mendoza.

"We do not believe the hitmen were looking for him," he said.

Murrillo inherited the position a few months ago after his predecessor was in a similar ambush earlier this year, Mexican media reported.

Sinaloa is a hotbed for narcotics activity and is home to the Sinaloa Cartel, the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico. Federal police blame the cartel for the increase in violence in the neighboring state of Chihuahua, which includes Mexico's most violent city, Ciudad Juarez.