MEXICO CITY - Seventeen bodies were found dumped along a road in western Mexico, local police said on Sunday, in what appeared to be a drug gang killing.

"The 17 bodies were semi-naked, with their feet and hands tied, and they had chains around their necks," said a security officer from Tizapan El Alto, a small town near where the bodies were found. Tizapan is 110 kms (68 miles) from Guadalajara, the capital city of the state of Jalisco.

Milenio daily, quoting Jalisco Attorney General Tomas Coronado, said the bodies also had gunshot wounds.

Tizapan is near the border with the state of Michoacan, home to the "La Familia" drug gang and its offshoot, "The Knights Templar," which have been mired in a bloody struggle for control of the area.

More than 55,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico under the administration of Felipe Calderon, who launched a war on traffickers shortly after taking office in December 2006.

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