MORELIA, Mexico -- Prosecutors in the western Mexico state of Michoacan say soldiers found charred human remains buried in at least five clandestine graves and left on the slopes of a hill in the town of Tuxpan.

They say the troops found more than 150 pieces of bone, some mixed with pieces of wood and coal, on Tuesday. The soldiers also found traces of at least two bonfires.

Michoacan is the home base of the cult-like Knights Templar drug cartel.

Elsewhere in Mexico, prosecutors in Tamaulipas states say soldiers clashed with gunmen in two towns, killing at least 12 people.

Prosecutors say the first firefight was in the town of Hidalgo, where five men and a woman were killed Monday morning. Three hours later, soldiers killed six people in the town of Padilla.

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