- - Sunday, May 13, 2012

MONTERREY — Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border in what appears to be the latest blow in an escalating war of intimidation among drug gangs.

Mexico’s organized crime groups often abandon multiple bodies in public places as warnings to their rivals, and authorities said at least a few of the recent victims had tattoos of the Santa Muerte cult, popular among drug traffickers.

The bodies of the 43 men and six women were found in the town of San Juan on the non-toll highway to the border city of Reynosa at about 4 a.m., forcing police and troops to close off the highway.

Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said a banner left at the site bore a message with the Zetas drug cartel taking responsibility for the massacre.

YEMEN

Troops kill 30 terrorists with links to al Qaeda

SANAA — Government troops backed by warplanes and heavy artillery pounded al-Qaeda positions in southern Yemen on Sunday, killing at least 30 militants, officials said.

The army launched its assault on the al-Hurur region of Abyan province at dawn, pushing out al-Qaeda-linked terrorists who have controlled the area since taking it over last year.

The attack was part of the Yemeni military’s broader campaign against al-Qaeda-linked fighters. The militants have seized towns and territory across southern Yemen over the past year, taking advantage of a security vacuum linked to the country’s political turmoil that pushed longtime authoritarian leader Ali Abdullah Saleh from power.

BANGLADESH

100 injured in clash between police, activists

DHAKA — More than 100 people including many police were injured in clashes Sunday between opposition activists and security officials in southeastern Bangladesh, witnesses said.

The United News of Bangladesh news agency said the violence broke out in Chittagong when police blocked a protest march by Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party. It said police swung batons and fired tear gas to disperse the stone-throwing protesters.

Witnesses said at least 100 people were injured.

Local journalist Osman Gani Mansur said the protesters smashed at least 50 vehicles and set fire to at least three others in Chittagong, Bangladesh’s second-largest city, 135 miles southeast of Dhaka.

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