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Mutilated bodies found in northern Mexico

Authorities have found the dismembered bodies of at least 40 people stuffed into bags and dumped on a highway near the northern industrial city of Monterrey in what appeared to be part of a string of brutal drug gang killings, local media reported.

The bodies were found in the early hours of Sunday, sparking a large deployment of local, state and military officials to the scene, daily Excelsior reported on its website.

"We are still in the process of counting the bodies, but there are at least 37 that we have tallied so far," a spokesperson for the state of Nuevo Leon, the home state of Monterrey, told the AFP news agency.

The bodies were found on an isolated stretch of the highway 180km from the US border.

The report follows a string of atrocities, including 18 people who were found decapitated and dismembered near Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara, on Wednesday.

Just a few days earlier, there were 23 killings in the city of Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state which borders the United States, comprising nine people found hanging from a bridge and 14 others that had been decapitated.

Suspected drug gang violence has flared up across the country this month, with scores of deaths attributed to massacres and clashes with security forces.

Authorities have blamed much of the deadly violence on battles between the Zetas, a gang set up by ex-commandos that and groups allied to the Sinaloa Federation of Mexico's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.


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