Five victims were shot inside a seafood restaurant, four were decapitated and one was shot and hanged from a bridge. A surge in gangland-style killings in Tijuana is being linked to two rival drug-trafficking groups vying for control of the region.

Since the weekend, the death toll has been mounting rapidly: of 71 homicides reported so far this month, 24 took place Tuesday and yesterday. Many recent victims were men in their 20s, though the youngest was 14 and the oldest appeared to be close to 60, authorities said.

"We are witnessing a war between drug traffickers," said Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, Baja California's attorney general. Many of those who have been killed are low-level operatives in the trafficking organizations, and many have criminal records, he said.

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