Mexican troops probed over killing of five civilians
According to authorities, the Mexican attorney general's office has opened an investigation into the deaths of five men, including a possible US citizen, who were allegedly killed by soldiers near the US border.
In a statement, the defense ministry said it was working with investigators to determine what happened early Sunday in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.
The young men were traveling in a truck after leaving a nightclub when they were shot by soldiers, according to a complaint filed by the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee, a local civil society group.
According to the defense ministry, the troops were on a routine patrol when they heard gunshots.
The pick-up truck, which was carrying seven people, accelerated as the soldiers approached, according to the army statement.
It collided with a parked vehicle, and when the military personnel heard the noise, they "activated their weapons," according to the report.
According to the ministry, five occupants died, another was injured, and a seventh escaped unharmed. An internal investigation has been launched.
According to the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee, the vehicle was shot 20 times, and one of the victims was a US citizen.
Social media videos showed a fight between relatives of the young men, residents, and soldiers who fired warning shots.
The footage also showed what appeared to be a soldier being trampled on the ground by several people and another being punched in the face.
Nuevo Laredo is frequently the site of violence blamed on drug traffickers.
Authorities announced the deaths of seven suspected criminals in clashes with soldiers on December 7.
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