More than 40 dead in weekend Mexico drug violence

More than 40 dead in weekend Mexico drug violence

"These figures are quite high. It is one of the most violent weekends in Ciudad Juarez in years," said a spokesman yesterday for the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office.

"On Friday we had 20 murders (in Ciudad Juarez), on Saturday 19 and today Sunday there was one so far," said the spokesman adding that the killings were apparently related to organised drug crime, based on the type of weapons used.

Separately, four people were gunned down in the Pacific resort town of Acapulco in apparent drug-related killings, authorities said.

Mexico will get four new battalions in its expanding and bloody military clash with drug traffickers close to the US border, President Felipe Calderon said Saturday.

Calderon did not immediately give a figure for the number of additional troops nor those now in the same region, where rival cartels are battling for control of lucrative drug-trafficking routes into the United States.

Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi states also have been increasingly hard hit by violent drug crime amid clashes between the Gulf and Zetas cartels, former allies that have since turned against one another.

More than 34,600 people have been killed in drug-related violence since December 2006, when Calderon's government deployed soldiers and federal police in a widespread crackdown on the illegal cartels