Northern Mexico seems more violent than areas of the middle east at this point. Mark my words: it's only a matter of time before the grenade attacks and car bombs spill over the border.
MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Northern Mexico was shaken by a weekend of violence, with 34 deaths blamed on drug cartels and a series of grenade attacks that injured a dozen people, officials said Sunday.
Twelve people were hurt in a late night grenade attack at a busy plaza outside Monterrey, according to officials who said it was one of four bombings to rock the industrial border city over the weekend.
Authorities said Sunday that the grenade was thrown by unidentified assailants at about 11 pm Saturday (0400 GMT Sunday) near the town hall in Guadalupe, a suburb of the bustling city near the border with the United States.
Earlier Saturday, three explosive devices were detonated, including one near the US consulate and another not far from a prosecutor's office that wounded a guard. The blasts damaged roads and nearby vehicles, said police, who have yet to identify the culprits.
Monterrey, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the US border, has been the scene of brutal violence blamed on feuding drug cartels fighting over control of trafficking routes into the lucrative US market.
Last month, the US State Department barred its personnel from taking children with them when they occupy posts at the consulate in Monterrey, citing security fears.
Officials in Mexico City in a statement expressed the government's "strongest condemnation" of the attacks and vowed to do their utmost to combat organized crime across the country.
The bombings in Monterrey took place amid a new wave of drug related killings, mostly in northern Mexico, close to the lucrative US drug market, that has claimed nearly three dozen lives over the past few days.
In the town of San Jose de la Cruz, in an isolated mountain region in the northern state of Durango, presumed rival drug gangs clashed in a bloodbath that left 14 people dead, the local prosecutor said Saturday.
In Chihuahua another 20 murders took place, nine of them in Ciudad Juarez.
Meanwhile, police intensified their search Sunday for 20 Mexican tourists kidnapped by gunmen last week in the beach resort city of Acapulco.
The tourists from Morelia in neighboring Michoacan state were abducted late Thursday and officials said their was no word as to their whereabouts or their fate.
More than 28,000 people are believed to have been killed in drug cartel-related violence in Mexico since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown.