The bodies of 16 people were found in two different cities in Mexico’s Zacatecas state on Saturday amid a turf war between two powerful drug cartels.
Local authorities said 10 of the bodies were discovered in Fresnillo, while the other six were found in General Panfilo Natera, 110km (70 miles) to the southeast.
State prosecutors said both crime scenes were being processed.
Violence has spiked in recent years in Zacatecas with experts citing a battle for territory between the Sinaloa and the Jalisco New Generation cartels for control of lucrative drug-smuggling routes to the United States.
Late last year, grim incidents multiplied in the northern state with bodies found hanging in public places. In response, the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent in security reinforcements.
On January 6, 10 bodies were found in a sports utility vehicle in the main square in the city of Zacatecas.
In June, the bullet-ridden bodies of 18 men were found in Valparaiso in Zacatecas state, in what authorities said appeared to be the aftermath of a gun battle between the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels.
At least 948 people were killed by violence in Zacatecas in the first 10 months of 2021, according to official data, 342 more than in the same period a year earlier.
Across Mexico, more than 300,000 people have been killed in a wave of bloodshed since the government deployed the army to fight drug cartels in 2006.
For more than 10 years, the US and Mexico have worked together to fight drug trafficking under a programme called the Merida Initiative, with Washington providing military firepower, technical support, and security training.
In October, the neighbouring states agreed to overhaul their approach, which Mexican officials have long portrayed as a relic of the past, and to instead step up efforts to address the root causes of crime and curb cross-border arms smuggling.