updated 5/10/2009 5:35:33 PM ET MORELIA, Mexico — Gunmen killed nine people in three separate attacks in the Mexico's drug-plagued western state of Michoacan, authorities said Sunday.
The state attorney general's office said gunmen broke into a ranch in a rural area and shot dead five employees, along with four horses and a bull.
Three brothers were shot to death in the Michoacan city of Zamora in a separate attack, and another was killed by gunmen in the city of Arteaga.
Prosecutors said the motives in the Saturday attacks are under investigation.
Drug gangs have fought frequent turf battles in Michoacan.
Also Sunday, prosecutors announced that police had arrested four alleged members of a drug cartel in the border city of Tijuana after police found over $542,000 in their vehicles.
And in Cuernavaca, a city just south of the capital, federal prosecutors detained 11 men and 3 women on suspicion of smuggling weapons for the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. The 14 caught in the raid on a house in Cuernavaca were ordered held under house arrest for 40 days pending possible charges.
President Felipe Calderon has sent more than 45,000 troops to drug hotspots. More than 10,750 people have died in drug violence since then.
IN THE HANDS OF KILL BUYERS! When horses are purchased at auction by buyers intending to kill them, they're hauled away in double- decker tractor trailers where they are beaten and often blinded with baseball bats to mollify them. After crossing the border into Mexico, the animals are stabbed on each side-an act to tenderize their meat-and immobilized. Workers, then saw the horses legs off, at the knee and hang them to bleed out-all while the horses are ALIVE! (This is an excerpt, from an article written by Missy Diaz, crediting Victoria Mc Cullough and Sen. Joe Abruzzo for bringing awareness of horse slaughter, to Florida. In 2010 Florida Legislation unanimously passed the Horse Protection Bill, making it a felony to slaughter horses for personal or commercial use.)