A 25-year-old California-based Indian-origin woman techie, who travelled to Mexico to celebrate her birthday, was one of the two foreign tourists killed in a shootout between two drug gangs in the Caribbean coast resort of Tulum, say media reports.
The incident happened on Wednesday (October 20) night. Anjali Ryot was killed along with another German tourist in the crossfire, Californianewstimes.com news portal reported. Ryot arrived in Tulum on Monday prior to her birthday on October 22, it said.
Her Instagram account listed her as a travel blogger from Himachal Pradesh, living in San Jose, California.
Ryot has been working as a Senior Site Reliability Engineer on LinkedIn since July. She was previously employed by Yahoo, the Californianewstimes.com report said.
On Wednesday night, Ryot and four other foreign tourists were dining on the terrace of La Malquerida restaurant when four men armed with assault rifles fired at an adjoining table in the premises around 10.30 pm, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
The stray bullets hit the foreigners. Ryot and the German woman were killed, while the three others — from Germany and the Netherlands — were wounded. Authorities point to a confrontation between rival organised crime gangs. Ryot and her friends were just the collateral victims, it said.
The fight was between two rival groups that operate drug sales in the area, the Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Several drug cartels operate in the Mexican state, which is known for a lucrative retail drug market and as a landing spot for drug shipments, the Associated Press reported from Mexico City.
Meanwhile, Ryot’s brother Ashish Ryot has asked the mayor of Tulum to speed up the procedures to be able to repatriate his body, the El Pais report said.
(With inputs from agencies)