, Mexico, Sep 28 – The mayor of the Mexican town of Tancitaro, in southern Michoacan state, has been murdered, making him the 11th municipal leader slain so far this year, the state prosecutor said.
Mayor Gustavo Sanchez, 29, and a colleague, Rafael Equihua Cervantes, 36, were found murdered on a rural road early Monday, apparently stoned to death, state prosecutor Jesus Montejano told AFP.
"We are quite concerned because this is a situation (the style of the execution) quite unlike what organized drug crime usually does," he added.
Sanchez was not known to have a party affiliation and was a teacher by training before taking the helm of the town of 5,500. His predecessor resigned under pressure from an organized crime group.
In January, Sanchez fired 60 local police who were replaced by federal officers.
Some 28,000 people have died in a surge of suspected drug violence since the government launched a military crackdown on organized crime in 2006.
On Monday, Mexican officials said nine people were killed in two incidents of fighting between troops and gunmen in the city of Reynosa in Tamaulipas state on the border with the United States.
Six gunmen were killed during one confrontation, and one soldier and two gunmen were killed in a second, the Mexican navy said.
Nine individuals accused of links to organized crime were arrested, the navy said.
The two raids also hauled in a large stash of weapons, including a range of guns, a rocket launcher, more than 4,000 bullets and several grenades.
Mexican troops also seized 60,000 dollars, 12 vehicles, and various military-style uniforms, the navy said.