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Mexico Mormons: Who are the US victims of attack?

Mexico Mormons: Who are the US victims of attack?

Rhonita Miller and four of her children, including twin babies, were among those killed
Nine US citizens, three women and six children, were killed in an attack by suspected drug cartel gunmen in northern Mexico on Monday. Officials have not named the victims, but family members have identified those killed as members of the LeBaron family.The victims are reportedly all dual US-Mexican citizens who live in a community which broke away from the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decades ago. The motive for Monday's attack remains unclear - though officials have speculated it may be a case of mistaken identity.
'Driving together for safety reasons'
The exact chronology of the incident has not been confirmed. There were conflicting reports as news emerged on Tuesday.
The attacks happened near the town of Bavispe in the state of Sonora, which borders the US. Family members said three mothers were travelling with their 14 children in three vehicles when they were ambushed. Kendra Lee Miller, whose sister-in-law Rhonita Maria Miller died in the attack, told CNN the group had separate destinations but were driving together for safety reasons.
Mexican officials released images of surviving children being transferred for treatment
Ms Miller said Rhonita, 30, was travelling with four of her seven children to pick up her husband in Arizona, where he had been working. The couple's other children were reportedly being cared for by grandparents.The car Rhonita departed in broke down, Ms Miller said, so the group reportedly turned back to get another and set off again. She said that second car was then set upon by unknown gunmen, killing all of those inside. Witnesses reported seeing an explosion from the vehicle. Footage from the scene showed the car burned out and covered in bullet holes.
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"My dad, Andre and couple of uncles and relatives went to check up on the vehicle. All they found was charred remains, ash and bones," Ms Miller told CNN. The youngest victims, Titus and Tiana, were eight-month old twins. A 12-year-old named Howard and a 10-year old called Krystal also died in the car, Ms Miller said in a Facebook post. The other victims, in two more cars, were also set upon and found in two other locations further along the road, police said.
Some of the surviving children had gunshot wounds
Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 31, also died in the attack. But family members said her seven-month daughter, Faith, was found uninjured outside the vehicle. On social media posts, family said they believe her mother put her outside to protect her.Ms Miller said Dawna Ray Langford, 43, was also killed in the third vehicle along with her two sons, Trevor and Rogan, who were aged 11 and three.Seven of her other children, aged between 9 months and 14-years old, survived and were recovered later, Ms Miller's Facebook post said. Five of them were shot or sustained other injuries. Some of the older children helped hide the group and they were later found by search parties and taken by ambulance to a local hospital, according to Ms Miller. She said the children were then evacuated in a military helicopter and have now been transferred to Arizona for further treatment. Relatives said Tuesday that the bodies of the deceased have been taken back to their family ranch.
'A massive family'
A GoFundMe page for the victims describes the community as living between the US and Mexico. Family members told CNN the community in which they live has about 3,000 members. Tiffany Langford, related to the victims, told the news website that members of the group had a variety of beliefs, but generally the community practise fundamentalist Mormonism."We are a massive family," Ms Langford told CNN. "We love and support each other no matter what our individual beliefs. I've never seen such a strength of unity and love in a family as large as ours. This is the tragedy of our lives."
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