Guatemalan security forces on Thursday captured 16 people - all Guatemalans - allegedly linked to the Mexican drug trafficking organization Los Zetas, a government minister said.

Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez held a press conference and said that 14 of the suspects were arrested in the southern province of Escuintla and the other two in the municipality of Villa Nueva, in the southern part of Guatemala province.

Lopez said that all 16 people - among whom is one minor - stand accused of selling drugs and carrying out hits for hire.

The arrested people were part of a group known as "La Bomba," and 11 of them are suspected of murdering three men and two women after a drug transaction in Escuintla last November.

Lopez said that the group has links with Mexico's Los Zetas and is "a violent criminal structure" that could be connected with more murders in the province.

Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz said that the investigation into the quintuple murder was launched last November when the five bound victims were found slain in a home.

During the capture of the 16 suspects, authorities seized 11 firearms and small quantities of powder cocaine and crack, along with an unspecified amount of cash, the minister said. EFE