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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Eleven people were killed in Mexico's Veracruz state by criminal gangs on Saturday, including four children and the head of the state's federal police and two other federal police officers, Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said.
Veracruz is home to rival drug cartels including the Zetas and Jalisco New Generation, or CJNG, which are fighting over drug trafficking turf.
Armed gunmen shot and killed the three police officers, including the head of the federal police in Veracruz, Camilo Juan Castagne, at a restaurant in the city of Cardel.
In the port city of Coatzacoalcos, two adults and four children were killed, while two women were killed in the city of Orizaba.
"We are not facing human beings, we are facing beasts, cowards, villains, people who are capable of killing children so as to have the citizens Veracruz living in fear," Yunes in a video posted online as he visited the crime scene in Cardel.
"We will not allow them to impose their law of violence in Veracruz, we will not allow organised crime to rule in Veracruz," he said.
Some 30,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since drug violence increased sharply around 2007. Since former president Felipe Calderon sent the army out to battle drug gangs at the end of 2006 more than 150,000 have been killed.
Reporting by Adriana Barrera and Anthony Esposito. Editing by Jane Merriman