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Boy shot dead by drug war troops

Soldiers have opened fire on a family car at a checkpoint in northern Mexico, killing a 15-year-old boy and another person.

It is at least the second time this year that a family has been caught up in a shooting involving Mexico's military, which has come under intense criticism for human rights abuses as soldiers fight brutal drug cartels.

Soldiers apparently shot at the car when the driver failed to stop at the checkpoint on Sunday on the highway from the north-eastern city of Monterrey to Laredo, Texas, said Javier Trevina, Nuevo Leon state government secretary.

A 15-year-old boy and a man were killed, he said. Three other adults and two children were wounded.

The defence department promised an investigation, expressing its "deep condolences to the family" in a statement.

The military is mired in a controversy involving the April death of two brothers, aged five and nine, on a highway in Tamaulipas, a state bordering Nuevo Leon.

The National Human Rights Commission accused soldiers of shooting the children and altering the crime scene to try to blame the deaths on drug cartel gunmen.

The army denies the allegations and says the boys were killed in the crossfire of a shootout between soldiers and gunmen.

The scandal has renewed demands from activists that civilian authorities, not the army, investigate human rights cases involving the military.

More recently, soldiers killed a US citizen on August 22 outside the Pacific coast resort city of Acapulco.

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