The bodies of seven men between the ages of 19 and 29 were found Wednesday in the northern Mexican town of Nuevo Casas Grandes, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
The men had been kidnapped on Monday, according to police.
Five of the bodies were found piled on top of one another in a ditch in Nuevo Casas Grandes, located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The other two victims, identified as brothers Francisco Javier and Roman Eduardo Avalos Solis, were dumped on a nearby empty lot.
All of the victims died of gunshot wounds and police found 9 mm shell casings at the scene.
Chihuahua is the main battlefield in a war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels for control of northbound smuggling routes. The traffickers recruit young gang members from Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, to carry out killings and abductions.
On Tuesday, gunmen attacked a police station in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, wounding four people.
The attack occurred in Panuco, a municipality near the border between Veracruz and Tamaulipas states, where gunmen traveling in several SUVs opened fire on the police station, hitting three officers and a civilian.
The assailants came from Tamaulipas, Veracruz Public Safety Secretary Gen. Sergio Lopez Esquer said.
The police officers were able to return fire, the public safety secretary said.