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2 killed when camo-clad group attacks illegal immigrants

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2 killed when camo-clad group attacks illegal immigrants

Suspected smuggling group were traveling in truck through wash

Two men were fatally shot Sunday night when suspected human smugglers traveling near Eloy were ambushed by a group wearing camouflage and armed with rifles, the Pima County Sheriff's Department said.

At about 10:35 p.m., Border Patrol agents from the Casa Grande Station and officers from the Eloy and Coolidge police departments were called to the Eagle Ranch, west of Marana, after shots were fired at a group of illegal immigrants, PCSD spokeswoman Deputy Dawn Barkman said.

Authorities found one person dead in the back of a pickup truck and another in a nearby wash. Several illegal immigrants were found hiding in brush, Barkman said.

The surviving victims said they were traveling in a pickup in a wash when a group of people wearing camouflage began firing at them,  killing the two men. It was not known how many people fired on the group, Barkman said.

The wash is often used for human trafficking, she said.

Pima County Sheriff's homicide detectives were called in when it was determined that the incident occurred within the county, Barkman said.

The sex and names of the victims have not been released pending notification of next of kin. Neither the sheriff's department nor the Border Patrol released information on the immigration status of those killed or taken into custody in the incident.

There have been other similar attacks. One man was killed and a 12-year-old was shot on Jan. 27, 2007, when four men wearing military-style berets and camouflage clothing opened fire on a group of illegal immigrants traveling in a vehicle through an Eloy farm field in Pinal County.

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