Four women were killed by unknown persons on the south side of Guatemala City, where more than 700 females have been the victims of violence during 2012, emergency management officials said Saturday.

Three women were gunned down Friday night inside a cafe on the capital's south side, firefighters said.

Two armed men entered the establishment and shot the women, including the cafe owner identified as Maria Leticia Sagastume, 55.

The other two victims were not identified.

Meanwhile another woman of about age 23 was also shot and killed Friday on the southern outskirts of the Guatemalan capital.

Authorities have launched an investigation to discover the motives for the killings.

In 2012 to date some 700 women have been murdered in Guatemala, according to records of the National Institute of Forensic Sciences.

In 2011, according to official statistics, 834 women were slain in the Central American country. EFE