Two car bombs explode in northern Mexico; no casualties

August 28, 2010

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (Reuters) – Two car bombs exploded innorthern Mexico early on Friday, days after marines found the bodies of 72 people gunned down in the country’s escalating war with powerful drug cartels.

The blasts, the second and third modest-sized bombs planted in a vehicle this month in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northern Gulf state of Tamaulipas, and the fourth in Mexico since late July, caused no casualties but damaged buildings.

The attacks came the same day officials discovered the body of a police officer investigating the massacre of dozens of migrants in the latest attack linked to Mexico’s drug war.

“I’m told of the explosion of two car bombs here in the state, one in the offices of local traffic police and the other in the installations of Televisa,” Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Hernandez told local radio, referring to Mexico’s top broadcaster.

The explosion on the street outside Televisa’s studios in Ciudad Victoria, located 220 miles south of the Texas border, apparently part of a growing campaign of intimidation of the media, left little more than the car’s engine and front chassis.

Televisa did not give details of the blast, and it was unclear what explosives were used or how the two bombs were detonated. No group was immediately blamed for the explosion.

Car bombs are a new weapon in Mexico’s drug war. So far, the devices appear to have been relatively unsophisticated and have not caused widespread destruction.

Four people were killed in July in the violent city of Ciudad Juarez by a bomb planted in a car, the first such attack since President Felipe Calderon took office.

More than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since Calderon launched his war on drugs in late 2006.

Fourteen drug-related slayings were reported on Friday in different locations in the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, popular with U.S. tourists but also a key transit point for narcotics. Several of the bound and blindfolded victims were covered with messages threatening rival cartels.

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