(Associated Press) The bodies of 23 people were found hanging from a bridge or decapitated and dumped near city hall Friday in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, where drug cartels are fighting a bloody and escalating turf war.

Authorities found nine of the victims, including four women, hanging from an overpass leading to a main highway, said a Tamaulipas state official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to provide information on the case.

Hours later, police found 14 human heads inside coolers outside city hall along with a threatening note. The 14 bodies were found in black plastic bags inside a car abandoned near an international bridge, the official said.

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