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    Mexican drug-singer shot dead by rival drugs gang

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    A Mexican drug ballad singer has been shot dead just hours after publicly denying rumours of his death.


    Sergio Vega, also known as "El Shaka," was killed on his way to a concert in northwest Mexico.


    Gunmen fired several shots at him while he was travelling in his car on Saturday. He apparently had asked a friend to call the police as his vehicle was being followed.


    Only hours before the shooting, he told the entertainment website La Oreja that reports of his murder had been mistaken and joked that when that happened he had to phone his 'dear mum' to reassure her it was not true.


    "It's happened to me for years now, someone tells a radio station or a newspaper I've been killed, or suffered an accident," Mr Vega said.


    Mexican singers often praise the escapades of drug smugglers in songs known as narcocorridos.


    But the harmless songs have now turned deadly in a bitter narco war and the singers often see themselves as the targets of rival drugs gangs to the ones they sing about.


    Mexico is in the grip of an escalating drug war that has killed more than 25,500 people, mainly traffickers and police, since Calderon took power in 2006.