Monterrey, Tamaulipas - Five men were slain in Greater Monterrey amid an ongoing turf war involving rival drug cartels, authorities in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon said Thursday.
Police said a body was found at 7:40 a.m. Thursday just a few meters (yards) away from the road linking Monterrey, the state capital, with Santiago, to the south.
The man had more than 30 stab wounds and the killers left behind a message whose content was not divulged by authorities. Such messages are common in killings carried out by cartels and other organized crime outfits.
Less than a hour after the first body was discovered, police in the Monterrey suburb of San Pedro came upon a man with bound hands who had been killed with a single gunshot to the back of the head.
A man slain in the same fashion was found near a metro station in Guadalupe, another town in the metropolitan area.
Two other men were gunned down Wednesday night in separate incidents in Greater Monterrey.
Mexican authorities attribute most of the violence in Nuevo Leon and neighboring Tamaulipas to a war among drug cartels for dominance of smuggling routes to the neighboring United States.
The current spate of killings in the northeastern border states began when the Gulf drug cartel allied with other groups in a bid to crush Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned outlaws.
The Zetas began their criminal career as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, but recently went into business for themselves.