Three members of the same Mexican family - mother, father and daughter - were shot and killed here in an attack that bore the hallmarks of organized crime-related violence.

The victims, still unidentified, were attacked Wednesday by at least eight armed assailants who burst into the family home in a poor neighborhood of this violence-wracked northern Mexican border city, a municipal police spokesman told Efe, without indicating a possible motive.

More than 9,000 homicides have occurred in that border city across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, from 2008 to the present.

In 2010, more than 3,100 people were killed in a war for control of smuggling routes into the United States being waged by the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels with backing from hit men from local street gangs.

Chihuahua state, where Juarez is located, has accounted for nearly 30 percent of the more than 40,000 deaths registered in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the country's drug cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.