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59 bodies found in 8 pits in Mexico

Associated Press / April 7, 2011

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MEXICO CITY — Fifty-nine bodies were found buried yesterday in a series of pits in the northern Mexico state of Tamaulipas, near the site where suspected drug gang members massacred 72 migrants last summer, officials said.

Security forces stumbled on the site as they were investigating reports that passengers had been pulled off several buses by gunmen in the area in what may have been an attempt at forced recruitment by a drug gang.

State and federal authorities conducted a raid that netted several suspected kidnappers and freed five kidnap victims.

Then they made a grisly discovery — a total of eight pits, containing the 59 corpses. One of the pits held 43 dead.

Many of the victims appeared to have died between 10 and 15 days ago, which would roughly match the bus abductions, Tamaulipas state interior secretary Morelos Canseco said.

Canseco said state officials began getting reports starting around March 25 that gunmen had been stopping buses. At least two more cases were reported in the following days.

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