53 Killed in Attack on Mexican Casino

Gunmen spray gasoline, set Monterrey casino ablaze
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2011 1:36 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
53 Killed in Attack On Mexican Casino
Smoke billows from the Casino Royale as rescue vehicles surround the building.   (AP Photo/Hans Maximo Musielik)

At least 53 people were killed yesterday when gunmen burst into a casino in Monterrey and started a fire that trapped gamblers inside. Survivors say the Casino Royale gunmen sprayed gasoline and ordered people to get out, but panicked gamblers fled further inside the building, the Wall Street Journal reports. Authorities commandeered backhoes from a nearby construction site to break into the casino's walls to rescue victims inside.

Many of the victims were women and elderly people. "This is a night of sadness for Mexico," a federal security official said in a televised address. "These unspeakable acts of terror will not go unpunished." The state's attorney general says drug cartels, which often extort money from casinos and other businesses, appear to have been behind the attack, the deadliest in Monterrey since drug violence in the northern city exploded more than a year ago. (Read more Monterrey stories.)

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