Nearly 30 people killed in Mexico bar attack

VERA CRUZ, MX (NBC) - Mexican officials say gang members stormed into a bar, blocked all the exits and then started a fire that killed 27 people and injured about a dozen others.

The attackers in the case reportedly locked the doors and emergency exits of the popular nightclub and after shooting both employees and patrons at the scene they set the building on fire.

Authorities said the attack in a gulf coast city in Vera Cruz late Tuesday was apparently overseen by a man who had been recently arrested but released.

Police said the attack targeted the White Horse Bar.

An anti-crime activist and businessman said the attack had all the hallmarks of an unmet demand for extortion payments.

He said the Zetas, Jalisco new generation cartel and other local gangs are currently fighting for control of the city.

It's been a record year for violence in Mexico, who registered 14,603 homicides from January through June.