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Apr 23, 2:49 PM EDT

9 dead in apparent gang shootout in western Mexico

Drug Lords' Aliases
Mexican cartels reaching farther into U.S.

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Prosecutors in western Mexico say nine people are dead following an apparent gang shootout in a rural area.

The Michoacan state prosecutors' office says investigators went to the area after residents reported a confrontation between armed groups.

The office said eight bodies were found in the hamlet of El Poturo. A ninth body was found on a nearby hill. All had bullet wounds.

Four bullet-riddled vehicles were found nearby.

The identity and causes of the shootings on Saturday are under investigation.

The state has been the scene of both drug gang violence and an uprising by armed civilian vigilantes.

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