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Report: Suspect in deadly Mexican casino attack arrested

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:04 AM EST, Fri January 6, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The suspect is believed to be one of the men who planned a deadly attack at a casino
  • Other suspects arrested said the attacks were punishment for not paying extortion demands
  • Authorities said most of the 52 dead in the casino attack were women

(CNN) -- Federal authorities have arrested one of the alleged leaders of a drug cartel thought to be behind the attack and arson last August at a Monterrey casino that left 52 people dead, Mexico's news agency reported.

Baltazar Saucedo Estrada who also goes by the name "Mataperros" (the dog killer) is one of the leaders of the drug cartel Los Zetas, the state-run Notimex news agency reported. The suspect is believed to be one of the people who masterminded the August 25 attack on the Casino Royale, the news agency reported.

The suspect was apprehended Thursday while traveling in the state of Nuevo Leon in a stolen car, Notimex reported.

Others arrested told authorities that the attack happened because the owners of the casino had not complied with the cartel's extortion demands.

Authorities said the casino's security video shows armed men arriving in the vehicles and carrying what appear to be gallons of gasoline. They burst into the casino and, seconds later, dozens of people flee the smoke and fire. The attack appeared to last 2½ minutes, based on the video.

Witnesses and survivors who were interviewed by CNN a week after the massacre said the men who set fire to the building also opened fire indiscriminately on the crowd inside.

Authorities said most of the 52 dead were women.

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