At least 23 people have been killed in a suspected fire bomb attack at a bar in Mexico.

A further 13 were left seriously injured after a fire took hold at the venue in the east coast port city of Coatzacoalcos, in the south of Veracruz state, according to local media reports.

The blaze happened on Tuesday night at Caballo Blanco table dancing bar, said the state attorney general’s office, which confirmed it was investigating a suspected “malicious attack”.

Eight of those killed were women and 15 were men, reported El Universal. The Mexico City-based newspaper said Molotov cocktails were believed to have been thrown at the building.

An investigation is underway to determine who was started the fire.

The attorney general’s office said it would “expend all the necessary investigative acts to establish, in the first place, if the events are the result of a malicious attack, to ensure that the events to no go unpunished, deploying all the human, technical and material resources that are necessary.”

Veracruz’s Ministry of Public Security said it “condemns the events that took place” and was assisting the hunt for the attackers.

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