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2 slain in Mexico were U.S. college students, police say

By Nick Valencia, CNN
  • One was U.S. citizen, the other a native of Juarez, police say
  • Two other university students killed in similar violence earlier this year
  • Mexico
  • Ciudad Juarez
  • El Paso

(CNN) -- Two students from the University of Texas at El Paso were shot and killed Tuesday night in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Chihuahua state investigators said late Wednesday.

The students, identified as Manuel Acosta Villalobos, 25, and Eder Diaz Sotero, 23, were gunned down in a hail of more than 30 bullets while driving a Nissan Sentra with Texas plates, Chihuahua State police spokesman Arturo Sandoval said.

"I have confirmed that Eder was from the United States and was a U.S. citizen. The other boy was a Juarez native," Sandoval said.

The university president, Diana Natalicio, issued a statement about the slayings that was published by The Prospector, the school's student-run newspaper, on its website.

"Our hearts are heavy today with the news of the deaths of UTEP students Manuel Acosta and Eder Diaz. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these two men as they deal with the tragic loss of their loved ones," Natalicio said.

The Prospector identified Acosta as a senior computer information systems major and Diaz as a sophomore sophomore pre-business major. The Prospector also said that two other university students were killed in violence in Juarez on May 25.