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3 Americans shot to death near Mexico-U.S. border

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Two killed near Zaragoza bridge, one inside city
  • Ciudad Juarez is known for violence between drug cartels
  • The circumstances of the Americans' deaths are not clear

(CNN) -- Three Americans died in weekend violence in the area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a U.S. official said.

"Two citizens were fatally shot early Sunday close to the Zaragoza international bridge," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Monday. "In a separate incident, another U.S. citizen was fatally wounded in Ciudad Juarez itself."

Violence is rife in the area, as the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels battle for control of lucrative smuggling routes into the United States, where demand for illegal drugs is strong.

The circumstances of the Americans' deaths weren't immediately clear.

"First, we offer our condolences to the families of the victims," Crowley said. "We have been in touch with those families and are providing all possible assistance."

Crowley added, "We will support the Mexican government in the investigation that is already under way."