At least 10 Americans — including six children — were killed in a highway ambush in the Mexican state of Sonora late Monday night, The Hill reported.
Among the dead are 8-month-old twins, said a relative of the victims.
According to CNN, the Americans were members of a Mormon community that lived south of the border. A family member of the victims, Alex LeBaron, told the U.S. network that three vehicles were targeted, claiming the lives of multiple women, small children, and infants:
"Women and children (between 14 years old and 10 months) were massacred, burnt alive. Mothers were screaming for the fire to stop," he said. "We are a very tight knit community, we share everything that's happening. We've been dealing with this tragedy since early yesterday. We share all information within our family groups."
Survivors were flown from Mexico to Douglas, Arizona, and will be transported to hospitals in Tucson.
Mistaken for cartel rivals?
LeBaron noted that there were two separate attacks on the victims who were shot by two different groups of men, presumably members of the same cartels. The attack was "most likely by accident, mistaken for their rivals. All shot while in vehicles while driving," he added.
The governor of the state of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich, took to Twitter last night to condemn the attacks.
"As a mother I feel angry, scorn and a deep pain for the cowardly events in the mountains between Sonora and Chihuahua. I don't know what kind of monsters would dare to hurt women and children. As Governor, you have my collaboration so that this does not go unpunished and the responsible parties will pay."
Another Mexican politician, Sen. Manuel Añorve Baños, said on Twitter that "what happened in Sonora to the Lebarón family can only be described as a despicable, merciless, and barbaric act."
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau tweeted early this morning "The security of our nationals is our top priority. I am following very closely the situation in the mountains between Sonora and Chihuahua."
This story has been updated.