5 Dec 2010

Boy assassin arrested in Mexico

6:18 am on 5 December 2010

Troops in Mexico have arrested a boy suspected of being an assassin for a drugs cartel.

Officials say Edgar Jimenez, 14, nicknamed El Ponchis ('the cloaked one') was trying to catch a plane to the United States with two of his sisters.

The Mexican army says he took part in a number of beheadings, while under the influence of drugs.

The BBC's reports he is believed to have worked for the South Pacific drug cartel in Morelos state outside Mexico City.

The gang is run by Hector Beltran Leyva, brother of Arturo Beltran Leyva, a drug lord who was killed by troops a year ago.

More than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon began deploying the army to fight the cartels in late 2006.