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Nine Americans killed in Mexican ambush, Trump urges war on cartels

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The horrific murders of nine members of an American family in Mexico prompted outrage in Washington and calls by President Donald trump for Mexico to wage war on drug cartels.

Cell phone footage of a charred and bullet-riddled car purports to show the scene three adults and six children, members of the LeBaron family, were attacked by unknown gunmen Monday (November 4).

An unidentified voice chokes up at the tragedy.

(UPSOUND) (English) UNIDENTIFIED VOICE, SAYING:

"Nita and four of my grandchildren are burnt and shot up."

Reuters could not independently verify the video.

On Tuesday (November 5) President Donald Trump tweeted, "A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing."

Trump also wrote, "This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth."

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday said he grieved for the victims.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEXICAN PRESIDENT ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, SAYING:

"I send an embrace of condolence to the whole LeBaron family, to the family members of the victims. This is a terrible tragedy, because children and innocents lost their lives."

Lopez Obrador also thanked Trump for his support, but said he didn't think Mexico needed foreign intervention at this time.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah expressed his concerns about the attack.

(UPSOUND) (English) U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR MITT ROMNEY, SAYING:

"You know, I agree with the president, when he said Mexico has to really knuckle down and go after some of these cartels, and stop this escalating level of violence. And hope that if there's a way that we can help, in that effort, that we're called upon to do so."

Romney is a member of the Mormon faith.

The victims in Mexico were members of a breakaway Mormon group that settled in Mexico's Chihuahua province in the 1920s.

A family relative called the incident a “massacre,” and said some family members were burned alive, telling Reuters he did not know why they were attacked, but the group has had run-ins with drug cartels before.

For more than a decade, Mexico has deployed its military to combat organized crime.

The result has been less than successful: killings by cartels have spiked.

Mexico registered nearly a quarter-million homicides in the last 12 years, many linked to the drug war.

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