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Violence Kills Three People Associated with US Consul in Mexico

The United States government says it is outraged by the killing of three people associated with the U.S. consulate in the drug-plagued Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez.

Officials say a U.S. consulate employee and her husband, both U.S. citizens, were killed Saturday in a drive-by shooting. The couple's baby, who was also in their vehicle, was not injured.

In a separate shooting, gunmen killed the husband of a Mexican citizen employed by the consulate.

Officials say they do not know the motive for the killings.

Ciudad Juarez, which lies near El Paso, Texas, has been on the front line of Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on drug cartels.

In related news, the State Department has authorized diplomats working at U.S. consulates in northern Mexico to send family members out of the area because of security concerns.

Meanwhile, in western Mexico, at least 24 people were killed Saturday in drug-related violence.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico in recent years, despite the deployment of nearly 50,000 troops to fight the drug cartels.

President Calderon ordered the security forces to fight drug violence and trafficking after his election in 2006.

Mexico's northern border areas have been particularly violent as drug cartels battle each other for control of trafficking routes into the United States.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.