The headless bodies of 15 people were found discarded near a shopping center in the tourist city of Acapulco, Mexico, the Guerrero State Public Security office said in a statement Saturday.

The victims are all men between the ages of 25 and 30 years old. The security office said, Police were led to the bodies by a couple of burning vehicles.

A 16th body was found in a nearby car. The victim was a 30-year-old man who was shot to death, the office said.

The bodies were not found in an area frequented by tourists, said a spokeswoman for the security office.

"It's a shopping center where locals go regularly, but it's not that far away from the tourist areas," she said. "They were found on a popular highway used to get to the tourist area." The killings are alleged to be drug related, she said.

According to authorities, more than 28,000 people have died in Mexico in drug-related violence since 2006. Police and military forces have stepped up operations in the region in light of the grisly discoveries.


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