Nine American Mormons killed in attack in Mexico

Nine Americans with dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship were killed in an ambush attack near the border between the two countries, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday, citing relatives of the victims and Mexican authorities. 

A relative of the victims told CNN that at least nine family members, who are part of a Mormon community, were killed while traveling near the border. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE responded to the news Tuesday morning, saying in a series of tweets that the U.S. was ready to "wage war" on the drug cartels and is willing and able to aid Mexico in "cleaning out these monsters."

The group that was attacked has ties to Utah and got caught between two vicious drug cartels, according to Trump's tweet.   

Three vehicles traveling between the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua were attacked by criminal groups, César Peniche Espejel, attorney general of the state of Chihuahua, indicated in a statement Tuesday, according to CNN. 

Peniche Espejel reportedly said due to the remote location of the attack it has “not been possible to specify an official” total number of victims. Authorities in the state of Sonora have not confirmed the number of deaths, according to CNN. 

Victims were mostly women and children and minors found with injuries, Peniche Espejel's statement reportedly said. CBS News reports that at least 6 of the victims were children.

Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich Arellano tweeted that the state is cooperating with the investigation. 

“I don't know what kind of monsters dare to hurt women and children,” she said, according to a Google translation of the tweet.

Alex LeBaron, who said he lost family members in the attack, told CNN the vehicles were targeted. He told the outlet the attack killed three women, four small children and two infants. 

Updated at 8:15 p.m. on 12/1 to correctly note the number killed in the attack.