Hundreds of skeletons found on Mexico border

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Hundreds of skeletal remains have been discovered scattered on ranches in towns along the US-Mexico border during a huge search to locate missing people.

The remains were burned and extremely hard to identify, Coahuila state prosecutors’ spokesman Jesus Carranza said.

News of the grisly finds came as 12 bodies were unearthed from clandestine graves in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero and about two months after 67 bodies were found in western Mexico.

Such discoveries remain common despite government claims that the number of killings has gone down in the past year.

Police in Coahuila have not said whether an organised crime group is suspected, but the area is known to be dominated by the violent Zetas drug cartel. Officers have arrested 10 men, including four police officers suspected of aiding a criminal group.

The police operation took place on ranches in 11 different towns around the border city of Piedras Negras, right across Eagle Pass, Texas, after interviews with family members and at least 32 former local officials. Usually remains like these have been found in mass graves, but these were left on the surface in the region known as Five Springs, Mr Carranza said.

An organisation that supports families of missing victims has gathered 321 cases between 2007 and 2013 just in Coahuila.