MEXICO CITY: Two assailants on a motorcycle delivered a package containing an explosive device to a bar in north-central Mexico, killing two men.
The explosion in the state of Guanajuato came seconds after the victims received the package on Sunday at the bar next to a casino in the city of Salamanca, state prosecutors said. An unspecified number of others were wounded.
Video posted on social media showed one man standing on the street outside the bar, bloodied and with apparently severe injuries, after the attack.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Guanajuato has seen an increase in the use of explosives by criminals. Guanajuato is gripped by a turf war between the Jalisco cartel and other gangs backed by the rival Sinaloa cartel.
“In the state of Guanajuato, more than in other places, for some time now they have begun using explosives to commit crimes, and to try to spread fear and terror,” López Obrador said, adding, “This is a delicate situation.”
The president identified the two victims as the owner and the manager of the bar, which also served as a restaurant. He said it was the owner's birthday, which may have made him less wary of delivery of an unexpected package.
Casinos and bars in Mexico have been frequent targets of extortion demands by drug cartels, and they have set fire to businesses or sprayed them with gunfire to enforce such demands in the past.
Prosecutors said they are investigating what type of device was used; López Obrador said the case was likely to be taken over by federal prosecutors because criminal use of explosives is a federal crime.
Explosives are sometimes used by drug gangs in Mexico, but grenades are more common. Some gangs have begun attaching explosives to drones for aerial attacks.