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Student Becomes Fifth US Citizen Killed in Mexico This Week


CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) -- A U.S. university student was killed in a shooting attack on a car, becoming the fifth American slain in this violent border city in six days, Mexican and U.S. authorities said Wednesday.

Eder Diaz, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, was killed Tuesday evening along with a classmate, the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. The consulate said it had not yet confirmed whether the other victim was also a U.S. citizen.

An investigator from the state of Chihuahua, where Ciudad Juarez is located, identified the second victim as Manuel Acosta, and said he was from Chihuahua's capital of the same name.

The investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, told the AP that gunmen opened fire on a car in which Diaz and Acosta were traveling.

Diaz, 23, was a business major, while Acosta, 25, was a computer information-systems major, university spokesman Steve Lazarin said.

Diaz was the fifth U.S. citizen to be killed in Ciudad Juarez since Friday. All of the victims were from El Paso, which is located across the border from Ciudad Juarez.

Luis Carlos Araiza, 15, a student at Bowie High School in El Paso, and Joanna Herrera, 27, were fatally shot while traveling in a BMW sport utility vehicle near the Zaragoza international bridge Saturday. Mexican officials said they had criminal records but would not elaborate.

Edgar Lopez, 35, was shot and killed Saturday at a residence in Ciudad Juarez, while on Friday, Lorena Izaguirre, 24, was killed at a tortilla shop.

Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world's deadliest cities amid a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels. More than 2,000 people have been killed this year in the city.

The most recent attacks represent the deadliest week for Americans in Mexico since Feb. 1, when four U.S. citizens were killed in different parts of the country. The largest previous single-city death toll for Americans was on May 9, 2009, when four U.S. citizens were slain in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for several parts of Mexico, including Chihuahua state. The department said in the warning that Ciudad Juarez is of special concern. Three people associated with the U.S. Consulate there, including two U.S. citizens, were killed last March.

In the warning, the U.S. government advises its citizens to defer unnecessary travel to Ciudad Juarez and to the Guadalupe Bravo area, southeast of Ciudad Juarez.

"In both areas, American citizens have been victims of drug related violence," the warning says.

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