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Mexico attorney general who handled student massacre probe to step down

Attorney General Jesus Murillo speaks to the media during a news conference at the attorney general's office in Mexico City January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s attorney general Jesus Murillo, under fire for months over his handling of the investigation into the abduction and apparent massacre of 43 students, will step down, a senior government official said on Friday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Murillo, one of the most experienced politicians in President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government, will be moved to the ministry of agrarian and urban development.

Murillo will be replaced by Arely Gomez, a senator in the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who took leave of her post on Feb 26, the official said.

The disappearance of 43 trainee teachers in the southwestern city of Iguala in late September sparked the biggest crisis of Pena Nieto’s administration.

The government said the students were abducted by corrupt police, then handed over to members of a local drug gang, who incinerated the bodies and threw the remains into a river.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Bernadette Baum