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42 REPORTED SLAIN IN MEXICAN TOWN

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) -- Gunmen attacked a small town in southern Mexico, killing at least 42 people, peasant activists said today.

If confirmed, it would be the bloodiest attack in Chiapas state since the Zapatista uprising in January 1994. That battle with government troops killed 135 people.

Members of the peasant group Las Abejas said 42 people were killed and six were missing after Monday's massacre, according to Manuel Gomez Perez, an official of the rebels' autonomous government in Polho.

He said he was told the attack was carried out by members of Mexico's ruling party, who have clashed repeatedly with supporters of the local government.

Gonzalo Ituarte, spokesman for the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, reported 43 dead -- eight in the town of Acteal and 35 in the nearby village of Quextic.

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