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9 killed in northern Mexican state of Chihuahua

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — The tortured and bound bodies of four men were found Monday in an isolated mountainous region of the northern border state of Chihuahua, while five other people were killed in a shooting in a city nearby, authorities said.

The Chihuahua prosecutor's office said the four men were tortured, shot and abandoned along a highway near Creel, a town known as the heart of Tarahumara indigenous group. Police found the bodies on Monday, two days after eight other tortured bodies were found in another part of the state.

Officials also say that the five people killed — four men and a woman — were shot at a convenience store in Chihuahua state's capital, of the same name. The victims were flower vendors, authorities said Monday.

On Sunday, officials reported that the bodies of 11 long-dead men were found in mass graves near the U.S. border, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Ciudad Juarez. On Monday, authorities found nine more in the area, increasing the total to 20. They said that they are still digging.

The attorney general's office said the victims were buried about two years ago when violence peaked in Ciudad Juarez across El Paso, Texas as drug cartels engaged in fierce battles causing multiple murders a day. More than 3,000 people killed in 2010 in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.4 million.

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