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Police find 4 human heads in Mexican state where vigilantes are fighting drug cartel

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EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - Investigators and army soldiers stand near the entrance of a church where four human heads were dumped in the town of Zacan, state of Michoacan, Mexico, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Officials say the remains belong to four men between the ages of 22 and 55 years of age. Mexico's federal government in recent weeks has sent thousands of soldiers and federal police after self-defense groups organized to battle with the Knights Templar drug cartel. (AP Photo/Agencia Esquema) (The Associated Press)

Mexican authorities say four human heads have been found in a town in Michoacan, a western state where rural vigilantes sprang up a year ago to try to drive out a cult-like drug cartel.

A federal official says police investigators also found a threatening note along with the human remains in Zacan but wouldn't reveal its content. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the press.

He said the remains found Thursday belong to four men between 22 and 55 years of age.

The official said federal agents also found a pit in the nearby town of Tinguindin that may contain bodies.

Mexico has sent thousands of federal forces to Michoacan following shootouts between vigilantes and the Knights Templar cartel.