NUEVO LAREDO: Mexican police found 14 headless bodies in a vehicle on a main street of the border city Nuevo Laredo Friday and 14 heads elsewhere, hours after nine bodies were found hanging from a bridge in the same city.
The heads were found in ice boxes outside the mayor's office, according to local security forces in the city across the border from Laredo, Texas.
The blood-stained bodies of four women and five men were earlier found hanging off a city bridge with an apparent message from a drug gang.
The grim spectacles of apparent score-settling were extreme even for the border city and the northeastern state of Tamaulipas that have seen some of the most gruesome episodes in Mexico's brutal five-and-a-half year drug war so far.
State security forces and soldiers cordoned off the areas where the bodies were found and gave no immediate comment.
A large banner was attached near the bodies hung off the bridge with a message alluding to gang disputes.
Nuevo Laredo, the main road trade crossing from Mexico into the United States, is regularly the scene of vicious disputes between the Zetas drug gang -- set up by ex-elite soldiers-turned-hitmen in the 1990s -- and their former employers the Gulf cartel, now believed to be allied to the Sinaloa cartel of billionaire fugitive Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Last month the dismembered remains of 14 men were found inside a van left near Nuevo Laredo town hall. Shortly afterwards a car exploded outside police headquarters.
Mexico has seen a rise in violence blamed for more than 50,000 deaths since the start of a nationwide military crackdown on organized crime in December 2006. (AFP)