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WORLD BRIEFING / MEXICO

Cabinet officials at rites for beheaded troops

December 23, 2008|Times Wire Reports

The Mexican government honored several soldiers decapitated by suspected drug traffickers, sending the Defense and Interior secretaries to a ceremony aimed at reassuring the nation amid violence that has killed more than 5,300 people this year.

President Felipe Calderon, who did not attend the ceremony at an army base in Chilpancingo, promised "firm action" in response to the attack.

Regional military commander Gen. Enrique Alonso Garrido said the beheadings were an "offense against Mexican institutions and especially against those who wear a military uniform."

Authorities found 12 decapitated bodies Sunday in and around Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state. Not all have been identified, but most were soldiers.

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