Mexico authorities find 21 kidnapped men alive

Mexico's Guerrero has been plagued by violence and multiple cases of missing people, including the notorious disappearance and presumed massacre of 43 students in September 2014 (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

Mexico City (AFP) - Mexican authorities said Friday they found alive 21 men who had been kidnapped by armed groups in the crime-plagued south of the country.

"They are alive, very tired and with injuries to their feet, but they are alright," the governor of the state of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo, said on television.

The men were found near the municipality of Arcelia with foot injuries that indicated they had walked a long way.

They were taken to report their ordeal to prosecutors who would investigate their abduction.

Officials said gunmen seized 16 of the men on December 9 after stopping a convoy of families in cars heading to a wedding.

Security officials said at least two men were killed during the abduction.

The other five men located on Friday were teachers who were dragged from their school by armed men in a separate incident on Monday.

Guerrero has been plagued by violence and multiple cases of missing people, including the notorious disappearance and presumed massacre of 43 students in September 2014.

Opium poppies are grown in the mountains and drug cartels, such as the Guerreros Unidos and Los Rojos, are fighting fierce turf wars in several towns.

Witnesses told police the abductors who attacked the wedding party identified themselves as members of "a new group".

The men said they were taking away the men because they suspected them of belonging to a rival cartel.

The mayor of Arcelia, Adolfo Torales, rejected that claim.

"They are working people, humble people who have to go out to work every day," he said.