Five people were killed and one was wounded in two shootings earlier this weekend in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, officials said.

An unidentified gunman opened fire on a group of young men in the Villa de San Juan district of the city of Juarez, located east of Monterrey, around 11:00 p.m. Friday, killing four of them and wounding the fifth.

The gunman drove up to the house where the young men were drinking, threatened them and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle.

The killings may be related to drug trafficking, Nuevo Leon Security Council officials told Efe.

Another shooting around the same time on Friday night left a man dead in the Independencia section of Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon.

Police officers responding to reports of shots fired went to the area and found a dead body inside a house and two severely beaten men in a nearby ditch, officials said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the incident was a fight between neighbors, officials said.

Nuevo Leon, one of Mexico's most violent states, is the scene of a turf war between the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas.

After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The criminal organizations have been fighting for control of smuggling routes into the United States since 2010. EFE