A husband and wife, both state police officers, were shot dead Wednesday while leaving their home in this Mexican border city where drug gangs have stepped up attacks against security forces.
Gabriel Padilla Perez's body was found at the entrance of his home in Ciudad Juarez, said Cesar Ramirez, a spokesman for the regional Attorney General's office. His wife, Claudia Tovar Carreon, was found dead on the sidewalk. The couple had two young children.
Ciudad Juarez, home base of the powerful Juarez drug cartel across from El Paso, Texas, has been among the hardest-hit cities in an explosion of violence across Mexico.
More than a dozen police officers have been killed in the city this year, including seven whose names had appeared on hit lists believed to have been distributed by the cartel. Others have resigned. Neither Padilla nor Tovar were on the lists.
All together, more than 200 people have been killed this year in Ciudad Juarez. The latest civilian victim was a 25-year-old pregnant woman killed while washing a car outside a shopping mall Tuesday. She was struck by a stray bullet when gunmen opened fire on another car nearby.
President Felipe Calderon has deployed 25,000 troops across the country to wrest back territory from drug gangs, which have fought back with bold attacks. More than 450 police, soldiers, prosecutors or investigators have been killed since Calderon took office in 2006.