January 7, 2012 / 10:29 PM / 8 years ago

Five severed heads found in northern Mexican city

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican police in the northern city of Torreon found the severed heads of five people killed in a suspected outbreak of drug gang violence.

Officials were still searching for the bodies. The heads were found in black bags in various parts of the city late on Friday, a spokesman for the ministry of public security in the state of Coahuila said on Saturday.

Threatening messages were left with the severed heads - a common feature of killings by drug cartels in Mexico - that suggested the slayings were the result of feuding between local gangs, the spokesman said.

More than 46,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led crackdown on the cartels after taking office five years ago.

The bodies of two other people in Torreon, an industrial city of around 650,000, were also found, the spokesman said.

Racked by gang violence, Torreon is on the border of Durango, a state long dominated by the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, Mexico’s most wanted man.

Lately Guzman’s turf has been under attack by the rival Zetas drug gang that is stronger in the northeast.

The government has put increasing pressure on Guzman’s cartel in recent weeks with a series of raids, seizures and multiple arrests.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by John O'Callaghan

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