Police found the bodies of three women who were shot to death early Saturday with assault rifles on a roadside in the central Mexico state of Morelos.

The women were believed to be between the ages of 20 and 25, though they had not been identified. Two of the women had their hands tied behind their backs. One was wearing only a blouse.

The Morelos state prosecutors' office said 15 spent shells from assault rifles were found at the scene.

Morelos is just south of Mexico City and has been the scene of drug cartel turf battles involving the remnants of the Beltran Leyva gang.

In the western state of Michoacan, police found a total of eight bodies in two clumps on the side of a highway.

Four of the bodies were charred beyond recognition in a burned-out sport utility vehicle, said Carlos Arrieta, the spokesman for the Michoacan state prosecutors office. A man's dismembered body was found in several plastic bags near the vehicle.

Several towns away along the same highway, police found the bullet-riddled bodies of three more men.

The area has seen bloody fighting between the Knights Templar cartel and the Jalisco Nueva Generation gang, which is believed to be allied with the Sinaloa cartel.