Authorities in Mexico are investigating the apparent abduction of 17 young men who were riding in a bus en route to the U.S.-Mexico border, the Nuevo Leon state security council said.

The bus left the central state of Guanajuato on Sept. 14 bound for the border town of Miguel Aleman.

Nuevo Leon Attorney General Adrian de la Garza "has already contacted" his counterpart in Guanajuato to determine "how and where (the disappearances) occurred," a spokesperson for the security council told Efe.

The respective AG's offices are coordinating their probe into the disappearance of the 17 men, who were forced off the bus and allegedly kidnapped by organized criminals in Nuevo Leon, the spokesperson added.

Armed men intercepted the vehicle between the Nuevo Leon towns of Cerralvo and General Treviño at a spot less than 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the border and apparently abducted 18 men, although one of them was later released.

Armado Vallejo, Guanajuato's deputy attorney general, said his office thus far has received 13 missing-person reports filed by relatives of people who were riding on the bus.

"We're now in contact with authorities from the Nuevo Leon state Attorney General's Office to begin the search," Vallejo told the Reforma newspaper.

Dozens of mass graves containing 193 bodies were found earlier this year in the state of Tamaulipas following reports that gunmen had forced men off buses headed for Reynosa, a city across the border from McAllen, Texas, between March 19 and March 31.

The bus passengers were grabbed in a bid to identify potential members of the Gulf cartel, which has been battling the rival Los Zetas cartel for control of smuggling routes into the United States, some of the suspects arrested in connection with the killings told investigators.

Tamaulipas and the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon have been rocked by drug-related violence in recent years pitting the Gulf and Zetas mobs.