Mexico drug war: Gunmen kill 8 in Monterrey strip club shooting

Police check taxis following attacks on taxi drivers in Monterrey earlier this year.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Heavily armed gunmen killed eight people after attacking a strip club in northern Mexico, in the latest mass murder in the country, the BBC reported.

The Associated Press said four people died at the Matehuala bar in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon state, and four people died later in hospital.

Six of the victims were believed to be employees of the club, Reuters reported.

Police are investigating the motive for the deadly shooting, but drug dealing is the likely reason.

"These are dives, illegal bars where there could be some drug dealing, that's one of our main lines of investigation," Nuevo Leon public security spokesman Jorge Domene was quoted as saying.

Monterrey, Mexico's wealthiest city and previously one of its safest, has been the scene of deadly and gruesome battles between rival drug cartels fighting for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes into the United States.

In May, police found 49 decapitated and mutilated bodies on an isolated stretch of highway near the city.

Another 52 people died in an arson attack on a casino in August last year.

Both incidents were blamed on the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel.

After several weeks of relative calm following the July 1 presidential election, the past week has seen a spate of deadly violence across the country.

Early Sunday, the mayor-elect of a town in the central state of San Luis Potosi was shot dead along with his campaign manager as they returned from a birthday party. A few days earlier the bodies of 14 men were found stuffed in a van in the same state. 

A family of seven was found murdered with their throats cut in the Gulf state of Veracruz last Friday.

More from GlobalPost: In Latin America, 'critical mass' urges end to drug war