CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AFP) – A total of 29 people were killed in 24 hours in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua, including two state police officers and six women, local authorities said.

Drug-linked violence has spiked in Mexico in the past three years, with more than 15,000 killed despite a government crackdown on organized crime involving some 50,000 security forces.

A group of six attackers killed two state police in a hail of bullets Monday as they left a car body shop, according to the deputy prosecutor's office of Chihuahua State, across from Texas in the United States.

The killings, along with 13 others in separate attacks, occurred in the Ciudad Juarez, the country's most violent city.

The victims included a female activist who had led protests against alleged rights abuses perpetrated by police and military deployed to fight organized crime.

Fourteen others were killed in other parts of the state, which lies on key drug routes for trafficking into the United States.