MEXICO CITY (AP) — A top Mexican official has confirmed that an army general and 29 soldiers under his command assigned to a town on the border with Texas are being tried on charges of homicide, drug trafficking and other crimes.

Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire says the alleged crimes are “deplorable and reprehensible.”

Details about Gen. Manuel Moreno and his subordinates’ reign of terror in the town of Ojinaga were first reported by the newspaper Reforma. Mexico’s Defense Department told Reforma the 30 soldiers were charged in August 2009 and are now on trial.

According to testimony, at least 10 civilians were killed by soldiers or by hit men under the orders of Moreno. The defendants also are alleged to have resold seized marijuana and cocaine, and stole cars, computers, TV sets and even mattresses during raids on suspects’ homes.

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