The decapitated bodies and heads of nine men have been found on a street in Mexico's Guerrero state. Prosecutors said the new discovery brings to 14 the number of bodies recovered on the streets of Guerrero since the weekend ( 19-20 November).

"This event shows that there is a strong battle between rival criminal groups who use extreme violence," Roberto Álvarez, the state security spokesman, said in a statement according to news agency AP.

He added that the nine bodies, found late on Sunday (20 November) near the town of Tixtla, showed "visible signs of torture". Some were discovered with their hands and feet bound, while others had been dismembered and placed in plastic bags.

The discovery came just hours after the dismembered bodies of three men were found in five plastic bags on a roadside near the town of Teloloapan.

Álvarez said that the three men had been reported kidnapped on 4 November from a town near Teloloapan – known for opium poppy production.

Another two bodies were found near the port city of Acapulco. One belonged to an off-duty member of the navy.

Guerrero has been the scene of drug gang conflict for years. In 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College, disappeared after staging a protest against what they perceived as an unfair hiring process for teachers, which favoured urban applicants over rural ones.

It is alleged they were abducted and handed over to the Guerrero Unidos drug cartel upon instructions from the then Iguala mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, who feared the students' protest could disrupt an event being held by his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa.

The students' disappearance led to violent rallies across Mexico where people protested against the country's widespread corruption and called for President Pena Nieto to step down.

In February 2016, Argentine forensic experts conclude there was no biological or physical evidence to support government claim that the students had been burned at rubbish dump. The investigation is ongoing.