At least 14 civilians were killed when some gunmen in vehicles attacked Reynosa City near the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said.

According to Associated Press, security forces had killed four suspects, including one who died near a border bridge. 

Tamaulipas state agency said the attacks started on Saturday afternoon, June 19, in several neighborhoods in eastern Reynosa, which is across the U.S-Mexico border from McAllen, Texas.

The state agency coordinates with the security forces regarding the matter. Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca condemned the loss of "innocent civilian" lives. Cabeza de Vaca noted that the incident would be investigated.

According to a U.S. News report, the 14 victims killed in the shooting incident include a nursing student, taxi drivers, and workers.

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U.S.-Mexico Border Shooting

Local businessman Misael Chavarria Garza said many businesses had closed on Saturday, June 19, because of the attacks. He added that many people were scared as helicopters were flying overhead.

Garza said the people were quiet as if nothing had happened. However, he noted that there is a feeling of anger as crime happened to innocent people.

Taxi driver Rene Guevara said it is not fair. He noted that among those who died were two of his fellow taxi drivers, whom he said were not involved in any crime. Reynosa Mayor Maki Esther Ortiz Domínguez said city residents must be protected.

The Mexican Army, National Guard, state police, and other law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting.

Authorities said they had detained a person who had two women in the trunk of his car after a security sweep, The Hindu reported. The two women were found to be abducted. Authorities had also managed to seize three vehicles.

Reynosa is a key crossing site for migrants hoping to reach the United States. The area's criminal activity has also long been dominated by Gulf Cartel. There have been fractures within the group.

Violence in Mexico

Mexico's homicide rate has been rising steadily since 2014. However, it remains well below those of other countries around the world.

Mexico ranks at number 19 in the list of countries with the highest rate of international homicides per 100,000 residents, BBC News reported.

The states with the highest homicide rates are the western state of Colima, followed by Baja California. Chihuahua and Guerrero were also among the dangerous areas in Mexico.

Much of the violence happening in the country comes from crime hotspots where gangs are either dominating the area for their operations or fighting over territory.

It has been home to powerful criminal groups responsible for smuggling narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamines to the United States.

Aside from drug smuggling, Mexican drug cartels are also involved in extortion, money laundering, human trafficking, people smuggling, and contract killings.

Some of them operate as far as south of Argentina, while some have even reached as far as Europe.

Meanwhile, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's strategy to create a National Guard has not yet yielded seeable results.

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