Two Catholic priests were found slain in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, a crime whose motive remains unclear even though four suspects have already been arrested, authorities said.

The bodies were found in Ixhuatlan de Madero, a town in the northern part of Veracruz, the Diocese of Tuxpan said in a statement.

The priests of the San Cristobal Parish in Ixhuatlan de Madero ... Hipolito Villalobos Lima and Nicolas de la Cruz Martinez, were found slain (Friday) morning," the diocese said, without indicating how the men were killed or a possible motive.

The Veracruz state Attorney General's Office, meanwhile, said in a statement that "four people linked to the case" had been taken into custody.

It also provided no details about how the two were killed, but said a special group of investigators had been assigned to the case.

The Veracruz government, for its part, said the state attorney general had traveled to the parish to head up the investigation. EFE