A Mexican drug gang is hiring pretty young women to carry out killings to surprise its enemies, a suspected member of the vicious La Linea gang said in a video released Tuesday.

Around 30 women aged 18 to 30 have been trained by hitmen to carry out killings in recent months, and most of those have killed people, said Rogelio Amaya in a public security ministry video released by media.

"They're pretty, good-looking, to help mislead opponents," said the suspected member of a gang of enforcers for the Juarez cartel in the country's most violent city, Ciudad Juarez.

The women operate in the same way as men and carry both light and heavy weapons, the suspect said.

The claims come as Mexico's drug battles leave a trail of blood and fear across the country, particularly in Ciudad Juarez.

More than 2,660 suspected drug murders were reported in the city across from El Paso, Tex., in 2009, and some 1,860 have been reported this year already.

Most are blamed on turf wars between the Juarez and Sinaloa gangs over key trafficking routes into the United States.

At least 11 suspected drug-related deaths were reported overnight Monday in Ciudad Juarez.
More than 28,000 people have died in suspected drug violence since the end of 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a controversial military crackdown on organized crime.