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Mexico deploys forces on reports of deadly ambush of Americans

Mexico deploys forces on reports of deadly ambush of Americans
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By Alex Johnson with NBC News World News
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Mexican authorities said military and police were responding to reports that at least five Americans were shot and killed in the state of Sonora.

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Mexican national police and military forces were dispatched to the border state of Sonora on a search operation Monday night following reports that at least five U.S. citizens, including four children, were shot and killed, Mexican authorities said.

The Associated Press quoted relatives as saying a U.S. woman, her 6-month-old twins and two other children, ages 8 and 10, died in the attack. They lived in La Mora, about 75 miles south of the U.S. border, where an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a major presence for many years, the relatives said.

El Universal, one of Mexico's largest newspapers, quoted other relatives as saying as many as 12 members of a Mormon family were killed in what appeared to be an organized crime ambush.

The reports couldn't immediately be confirmed.

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El Universal reported that a large group of family members were traveling to La Mora, in the municipality of Bavispe, from another part of the municipality when they were ambushed Monday morning.

Mexico's national civil defense agency confirmed that elements of the National Guard, the army and the state police were conducting a search operation in Bavispe on Monday night in response to the reports. It provided no other information.

The U.S. State Department said it was aware of the reports but had no further comment.

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