CIUDAD JUAREZ (AFP) — Ten people were found shot execution style, including three beheaded bodies, in 24 hours of drug-related warfare in northern Mexico, the Juarez prosecutor's office said Wednesday.
A local police officer's head was found inside a plastic bag with a note warning the Sinaloa drug cartel: "so you know we're not playing around." It was signed by La Linea, a rival drug group fighting for control of this city on the US border, the office said.
On a blanket spread over a bridge in nearby Chihuahua, 360 kilometers (215 miles) south of here, were scribbled the names of several local police officers and a threat -- "these guys are next," the prosecutor's office added.
The ten bodies found late Tuesday and Wednesday included two in Ciudad Juarez, two in Loma Blanca, two in and around Durango, two on roads leading to Chihuahua, one in Casa Grandes, and one in Ignacio Zaragoza, the office added in a statement.
One of two decapitated bodies found in Durango was topped by a pig's head and laid out in a cemetery, it added.
The violence came after seven federal police officers were killed Tuesday in a shootout with drug traffickers in northeastern Culiacan, the Public Safety Ministry said, adding that a criminal was also killed in the firefight.
Rival drug gangs battling for control of their turf have triggered a surge in bloodshed in the past few weeks in northern Mexico, with some 400 murders this year alone in Ciudad Juarez, according to officials.
At stake is access to the world's biggest market for narcotics, most of which slip through the border to the United States.
On May 23, police found six severed heads, some inside coolers left on the roadside, in and around Ciudad Juarez, in one of the more gruesome episodes of the drug war.
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