72 bodies found on ranch in northeast Mexico: military

Troops uncovered at least 72 bodies, including those of 14 women, on a ranch in northeastern Mexico after a clash with gunmen, the Mexican military said early on Wednesday.
The gruesome find came after a shootout between troops and suspected drug traffickers near the town of San Fernando, in Tamaulipas state which borders the southern US state of Texas, in which one member of the military and three gunmen were killed, according to the Mexican Navy.
It said “the lifeless bodies of 72 people were found” after the navy went to the ranch when a man suffering from gunshot wounds approached a nearby military checkpoint and said he had been attacked on the ranch by suspected drug traffickers.
The operation, which included military air support, netted one “underage suspect,” but the rest of the gunmen who were not killed managed to escape.
The military seized 21 rifles, about 6,600 rounds of ammunition, and four trucks including one bearing Ministry of Defense markings, the navy said.
Mass graves have been turning up with increasing frequency in Mexico’s drug war, which has claimed the lives of an estimated 28,000 people since 2006 despite a military show of force in Mexican cities by the government of President Felipe Calderon.
Tamaulipas is among Mexico’s most violent states and is currently riding a wave of deadly attacks blamed on drug cartels.
On June 7, 55 bodies were uncovered in a mass grave outside a mine in the southern state of Guerrero, the largest find of its kind in Mexico.
On July 23, 51 bodies were found in a residential area on the outskirts of Monterrey, the capital of the northern state of Nuevo Leon.