Drug violence slams Nogales, Sonora, overnight

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Early morning violence, apparently connected to drug cartels and drug trafficking, broke out early Thursday morning in Nogales, Sonora. There are reports nine people were killed, including law enforcement.

The violence comes just a few days after the United States Department of State, for the first time, included the city just across the United States border on its travel alert for Northern Mexico.

Details of the violence are still sketchy, but Michael Marizco, an investigative reporter who covers the border for his , reports it broke out about 3 a.m. He says police didn't respond until 6:30 a.m. His sources tell him from 7 to 9 people were killed. He reports it started near the border and later in the morning was continuing south of Nogales near Bellotes Ranch.

In its alert, the State Department says, "A number of areas along the border are experiencing rapid growth in the rates of many types of crime."

It continues, "Rates for robberies, homicides, petty thefts and carjackings have all increased over the past year across Mexico generally, with notable spikes in Tijuana and northern Baja California. Cuidad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have recently experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues."

The alert was issued on October 14.