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Nov 24, 8:20 PM EST

8 killed in 2 attacks in southern Mexico

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ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Authorities in Mexico said Tuesday that a total of eight people were killed in two separate attacks in the violent southern state of Guerrero.

In the first attack, a mother and her three children were killed and two other family members kidnapped Sunday night in a mountain village.

The Guerrero state prosecutor's office said in a statement that assault rifles and grenades were used in the attack in Polixtepec, a hamlet located in an area known for opium poppy production. Various gangs have been disputing the opium trade and other criminal enterprises in the remote mountain region.

Residents told the state human rights commission that unidentified assailants tossed grenades and shot at the family's home, starting a fire. Two men who survived the initial attack were taken by gunmen.

Authorities found shell casings for AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, as well as an unexploded grenade.

The burned remains of the mother and her children ages 23, 18 and 16 were found inside the simple wooden home.

And a Guerrero police official said four more people were killed early Tuesday when gunmen opened fire on a van used as public transport in a town further to the east.

The official was not authorized to be quoted by name. He said the victims were all Nahua Indians, and included three women and one man.

They were shot near the city of Chilapa, Guerrero, which has been riven by drug gang turf battles.

A woman and a four-year-old girl were also wounded in the attack.

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