(AFP) – Gunmen burst right into a Mexican strip membership in a hail of bullets and killed at the least 26 human beings as they trapped revellers inner and commenced a raging fire, officials said Wednesday.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador condemned the "shameful" assault inside the metropolis of Coatzacoalcos, and stated federal authorities could look at proof it is able to have stemmed from collusion between nearby government and prepared crime.

The Tuesday night time attack, which officials stated also left eleven humans badly wounded, is the state-of-the-art to rock the kingdom of Veracruz, a flashpoint in bloody turf wars between Mexico s rival drug cartels and a hotbed of political corruption.

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Survivors said gunmen sprayed bullets as they descended on the bar, the Caballo Blanco (White Horse), then blocked the exits and set the club alight.

due to the loud reggaeton track pounding internal, many purchasers and dancers did now not even observe the assault till the bar was in flames, they said.

authorities stated a few of the victims died of smoke inhalation. It changed into not right away clean whether some died of gunshot wounds.

"They arrived in numerous vehicles, with rifles and pistols. They threatened the security guards on the door and took control of the entrance," one survivor advised an AFP reporter, speakme on situation of anonymity, as frantic family collected on the bar seeking out their cherished ones.

Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia tweeted that government had identified one of the attackers as Ricardo "N" -- Mexican regulation bars the release of suspects  full names -- adding that he become a repeat offender referred to as "la Loca" ("The loopy One").

The suspect become formerly arrested ultimate month, but turned into launched by means of country prosecutors within forty eight hours, Garcia stated.

President Lopez Obrador stated federal government could look at why.

"There s a problem there that wishes to be investigated regarding the moves of the Veracruz prosecutor s workplace," stated Lopez Obrador, a leftist elected closing yr on an anti-corruption platform.

"There are two things happening here: one is this shameful act via prepared crime, the most inhuman component viable; the alternative, which is likewise reprehensible, is a possible conspiracy with the authorities," he advised a news conference.

The Veracruz prosecutor s office denied wrongdoing, and stated in a statement that it became in truth the federal prosecutor s workplace that launched Ricardo "N."

Attackers blocked emergency exits

Veracruz is one of the maximum violent states within the united states.

Its vicinity on the Gulf of Mexico coast makes it a strategic route for drug cartels and for human traffickers bringing undocumented migrants to the usa.

Coatzacoalcos, a port town of 235,000 human beings, has been among the ones hardest hit by means of the resulting violence.

The governor told journalists the institution that attacked the White Horse was vying for manipulate of the drug trade there.

some survivors stated the attackers doused the nightclub in gas to set it alight. Others stated they threw Molotov cocktails.

The interior of the bar turned into wrecked and charred, with chairs overturned and debris littering the floor.

The bare frame of a woman who had been mid-routine changed into sprawled at the dance floor subsequent to the striptease poles.

outdoor, anguished spouse and children cried and embraced as they waited for information, at the same time as infantrymen, police and paramedics worked the scene.

"I just need to recognise if he s adequate," stated a mother searching out her son, an worker on the bar, after attempting to find him in useless at local hospitals.

"have you ever visible my daughter? She changed into a dancer," stated another.

Hit squads, corruption

Mexico, the chief dealer of narcotics to the usa, has been hit by means of a wave of violence in view that maintaining conflict on drugs and deploying the navy to fight its powerful cartels in 2006.

due to the fact that then, extra than 250,000 humans have been murdered, along with a record 33,753 final 12 months.

The scenario in Veracruz has been in particular grim. Jailed ex-governor Javier Duarte (2010-2016) is accused of presiding over a rash of corruption and human rights abuses.

two former kingdom police chiefs and a string of ex-officials had been charged with jogging hit squads that abducted and probably killed undesirable individuals during Duarte s administration.