Six children and three mothers were killed after being attacked by suspected drug cartel gunmen in northern Mexico. They all were citizens of The United States.
The victims, who also include three women, were travelling in a convoy. Among them was also a toddler less than a year old.
The victims are members of the LeBaron family settled in Mexico several decades ago.
LeBaron family members were quoted as saying a group of three mothers and their 14 children had set off in a convoy of cars from Bavispe in Sonora state and were heading to La Mora in the neighbouring state of Chihuahua.
The attack is thought to be have been carried out by a drug cartel which operates between the two states.
The governments of Chihuahua and Sonora issued a joint statement saying that an investigation had been launched and additional security forces had been sent to the area.
Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, governor of the state of Sonora, described the perpetrators on Twitter as “monsters”.
Mexico’s security minister said the group could have been targeted accidentally through mistaken identity.
President Donald Trump in a tweet described the group as “a wonderful family and friends” who “got caught between ‘two vicious cartels'”.
The LeBaron family members are from the Mormon community which settled in Mexico several decades ago. Members are known for standing up to local drug gangs and speaking out about the high levels of cartel violence.