The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the probe into the suspected drug cartel killings in Mexico of three people associated with the U.S. consulate in the violent Ciudad Juarez border area.
A U.S. consulate employee and her husband, both Americans, were killed Saturday as their car neared the U.S. border crossing. The couple’s baby, who was also in the car, was not injured.
In a separate shooting at about the same time, gunmen killed the husband of a Mexican citizen employed by the consulate. Two children were wounded.
All the victims had just attended a social event hosted by another consulate worker.
A spokesman for the consulate in Ciudad Juarez says the office, which was closed Monday for a holiday, will remain closed Tuesday as a way for the community to mourn the loss.
The White House said U.S. President Barack Obama was outraged at the killings and pledged cooperation with Mexican law enforcement in searching for the gunmen.
Mexico extended its condolences to the victims’ families and pledged to track down those responsible.
Ciudad Juarez, which lies near El Paso, Texas, has been on the front line of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug cartels.
More than 14,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico in recent years, despite the deployment of nearly 50,000 troops to fight the drug cartels.
President Calderon ordered the security forces to fight drug violence and trafficking after his election in 2006.
Mexico’s northern border areas have been particularly violent as drug cartels battle each other for control of trafficking routes into the United States.
‘Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.’