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MEXICO CITY: Police found 14 bodies packed into a truck abandoned along a highway in Mexico's eastern state of Veracruz, the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement Tuesday.
The van was found along the Alamo-Potrero del Llano Highway near the border with neighbouring Tamaulipas state, one of the worst hit by violence in northeastern Mexico.
Mexican Army and Navy officials helped the General Attorney's Office remove the bodies and transport them first to a forensic centre and later to the state capital and Gulf coast port Veracruz, according to the statement.
Local media said the bodies had been hacked and packed in bags, making it difficult for authorities to count and identify the victims.
Officials suspect this latest massacre is related to an ongoing turf war between organised crime group Los Zetas and the Gulf and Pacific cartels that has been raging since 2010, it said.
In October last year, the Mexican government launched Operation Safe Veracruz after 35 bodies were found the previous month in an area called Boca del Rio, just south of the Veracruz capital in September last year.
Drug-related violence around Mexico appears to be on the rise, with the worst recent case occurring on May 13, when authorities uncovered 49 bodies near the city of Cadereyta, in Nuevo Leon state.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has mobilised the military and launched a war against drug trafficking after he took office in 2006. Official figures place the number of deaths from the conflict at more than 50,000. -- BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA