15 corpses found in back of Mexico truck: Prosecutor

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - The lifeless bodies of 15 men have been found inside a truck abandoned on a road in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the state prosecutor's office said.

Authorities suspect the murders are linked to criminal groups fighting for control of the area, as Mexico is gripped by violence linked to organized crime and drugs.

Information released by the prosecutor's office late Friday (March 24) night said the vehicle was discovered on the highway connecting Aquila and Lazaro Cardenas, on the Pacific coast.

The corpses were piled in the back of the truck, in its cargo area.

"The bodies of 15 males were found, all presenting bullet wounds," the prosecutor's statement said.

Initial investigations suggested one of the victims may have been a member of a criminal cell with ties to drug trafficking, murders, kidnapping and extortion.

Michoacan borders Guerrero state which remains hard-hit by violence.

Mexico had a record 25,339 murders last year, according to official figures.