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3/30 Tucson, AZ: 2 dead in attack on migrants
Released 30 March 2007  By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN - Associated Press

2 dead in attack on migrants in Ariz.

By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN, Associated Press
March 30, 2007

Gunmen ambushed nearly two dozen suspected illegal immigrants and smugglers packed into a pickup truck early Friday, killing two people and wounding at least one, authorities said.

The shooting occurred in the Green Valley area about 20 miles south of Tucson, Pima County sheriff's Bureau Chief Richard Kastigar said. People inside the truck described bullets cutting into the rear of the pickup as the driver tried to flee, he said.

Sheriff's deputies responded shortly after the shooting was reported after 5 a.m., and found the bodies of a man and a woman, authorities said. One wounded person was hospitalized; authorities said a smuggler believed to have been wounded in the hand has not been caught.

Two or three smugglers late Thursday had picked up 23 illegal immigrants, including some children, from the Mexican state of Chiapas, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said. They entered the U.S. on foot near Sasabe, Ariz.

The pickup driver drove off, and the people in the truck ran off into the desert. As deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents searched for them they also found several unrelated groups of illegal immigrants and took them into custody.

Detectives don't know if the assailants were in another vehicle or were on foot. Investigators didn't have a description of the assailants and were still interviewing the victims. None of the suspected smugglers had been identified.

There have been several similar attacks on illegal immigrants and smugglers in southern Arizona in recent months. Rival smugglers often try to steal migrants' cash or hold them for ransom.

A similar incident Feb. 8 left three dead and two others wounded northwest of Tucson. No arrests have been made in that case.


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