Two teenagers who were staying at a migrant center in central Tijuana, Mexico, were killed in an attempted robbery, a law enforcement official said late Tuesday.

The two boys, estimated to be ages 16 and 17, were stabbed and strangled Saturday, according to Jorge Alberto Álvarez Mendoza, deputy attorney general in the state of Baja California. Their bodies were found shortly after 7 p.m., he said. A third boy with the victims managed to escape, NBC News reported.

The bodies were found in an alley in a neighborhood named for the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Álvarez Mendoza said. Authorities believe the trio were headed to another migrant shelter, the Benito Juarez sports complex, which was officially closed down after heavy rains doused the open-air encampment earlier this month.

The violence highlights the dangers faced by migrants in Tijuana — some of whom were part of a caravan that was politicized during the midterm congressional election in November — as thousands await a slim possibility of pleading their case for asylum at the U.S. border.

Rodrigo Abd/AP

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