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American woman killed in apparent drug dealer crossfire in Mexican resort city of Tulum

Mexico City — An American woman and a man from Belize have been killed in what appears to have been a dispute between drug dealers at a beach club in the Mexican resort city of Tulum, officials confirmed Sunday.

Prosecutors in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo stressed the American woman had no connection to an alleged drug dealer also killed in the shooting Friday night. Prosecutors didn't provide the woman's name or hometown, and the U.S. Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

The woman may have simply been caught in the crossfire. Prosecutors denied reports in local media that the two may have been a couple, saying a photo of the Belizean man showed him with a completely different woman.

The Central American country of Belize shares a border with Mexico on the Caribbean coast. Tulum is located south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, closer to Belize.

Prosecutors said the dead man had cocaine and pills in his possession when he was killed, and was believed to be a dealer. They said the suspects in the shootings had been identified and were being sought.

Foreign tourists have been killed in the past after getting caught in drug gang shootouts in the once-tranquil beach resort.

In 2021 in Tulum, two tourists - one a California travel blogger born in India and the other German - were killed while eating at a restaurant. They apparently were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival drug dealers.

Last year, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert warning travelers to "exercise increased situational awareness" especially after dark, at Mexico's Caribbean beach resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

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