Two suspected criminals died Wednesday in central Mexico after they had been beaten and set on fire by a lynch mob, state officials said.

Municipal police contacted state authorities to request assistance in rescuing the two individuals after they had been snatched away from police custody by residents of Texcoco, a city in Mexico state, which surrounds Mexico City, the state Public Safety Secretariat said.

The mob overpowered the police and grabbed the two suspected criminals, arrested on suspicion of taking part in a robbery, while they were being transferred from city hall to the prosecutor's office.

In addition to beating the men and setting them ablaze, the mob also torched a police patrol car.

Some 250 state police officers responded to the call for backup and managed to wrest the men away from the mob and rush them to the Guadalupe Victoria hospital, where the two men later died of their injuries, the secretariat said.

It added that instructions have been given to the Mexico state Attorney General's Office to investigate the incident and locate and punish those responsible for the double homicide. EFE