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Dozens of bodies found in Mexican mass grave in eastern state of Veracruz

Officials said Wednesday that they have recovered at least 28 bodies from a grave in the eastern state of Veracruz, the scene of many attacks on migrants and violence between drug traffickers.

The state government said officials found the grave in Tres Valles, in the southern half of the Gulf Coast state. It said investigators were still excavating the grave, but did not release any details.

Veracruz has been hit by years of fighting between the Zetas drug gang and rivals. It is also crossed by tens of thousands of Central Americans migrants heading to the U.S. each year.

Officials have discovered a series of mass graves around Mexico in recent years, several filled with the bodies of migrants slain by gangs using violence to exert control over profitable migrant-smuggling routes.

The grave was found on a ranch known as El Diamante, outside the town about 250 miles (400 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City. It was being guarded by marines as forensic investigators tried to recover more bodies, and starting trying to identify those already unearthed.

One of the largest single mass graves found in Mexico in recent years was discovered in 2010 in Tamaulipas state. It contained the bodies of 72 migrants, whom authorities said were slain by Zetas members angry that the victims declined to work for the criminal organization.