MEXICO CITY — A search for seven kidnapped youths in the north-central Mexico state of Zacatecas appeared to come to a tragic end Wednesday when searchers found six bodies and one survivor in a remote area.

State prosecutors said the surviving young man was found with serious head wounds. His condition was listed as stable. They said the bodies of six young men were found nearby, but that investigators had not yet confirmed they were the youths abducted from a farm Sunday.

The bodies will have to be removed from the roadless site and brought to the state capital for identification.

Their relatives had carried out protests earlier this week in the violence-plagued state to demand authorities find them.

It was the latest tragic outcome to mass abductions of young people this year.

In August, a gruesome video circulated on social media recorded the last moments of five young men kidnapped in the neighboring state of Jalisco.

In the video, a pair of bound, inert bodies are seen lying in the foreground. A youth seen bludgeoning and apparently decapitating another victim appears to be himself the fourth member of the kidnapped group of friends.

At the height of Mexico's drug cartel brutality in the 2010s, gangs sometimes forced kidnap victims to kill each other. In 2010, one Mexican cartel abducted men from passenger buses and forced them to fight each other to death with sledgehammers.

In May, as many as eight young workers were killed in Jalisco after they apparently tried to quit jobs at a call center operated by a violent drug cartel that targeted Americans in a real estate scam.

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