Suspected drug cartel assailants killed 15 men and a woman in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, authorities said.

Thursday's attacks occurred in the municipalities of Atoyac de Alvarez, Tecpan de Galeana and General Heliodoro Castillo, the state's Public Safety Secretariat said.

In the first incident, a group of armed men burst into a bar in Atoyac de Alvarez and killed four men and a woman without uttering a word.

Elsewhere, police found the bodies of five men on the Zihuatanejo-Acapulco highway near the small town of San Luis la Loma, part of the Tecpan de Galeana municipality.

Guerrero police said armed men dumped the bodies, two of them decapitated, and then fled in an unknown direction; authorities did not indicate a potential motive or identify the victims.

In the third incident, gunmen killed six men in the rural community of Campo Morado, part of the General Heliodoro Castillo municipality.

Authorities gave the names of the victims but did not provide any more details about the slayings.

Some 3,000 federal and state police and army soldiers have been deployed in the state as part of the "Safe Guerrero" security operation, which was launched on Oct. 6 to combat organized crime.

Drug-war violence has claimed nearly 50,000 lives across Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the cartels.