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6 killed at bar in cartel-plagued Mexican state

CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — Mexican prosecutors say gunmen killed six people at a bar in the northern state of Sinaloa, a drug-violence hotspot.

Martin Gastelum is the Sinaloa state prosecutor's office spokesman. He says at least three gunmen walked into Las Herraduras bar in the resort city of Mazatlan early Saturday and opened fire. They killed a customer and two waiters, plus a taxi driver and night watchman outside the bar.

Gastelum said the assailants also killed a hostage who led them to the bar.

Sinaloa, Mexico's drug-smuggling heartland, is the birthplace of the leaders of four of six major cartels.

Drug violence has killed more than 15,000 people nationwide since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on cartels in late 2006.