MEXICO CITY - Two drug gang members were arrested Monday on suspicion of direct involvement in the disappearance of 43 students over a month ago, Mexico's top prosecutor said.
Authorities detained four Guerreros Unidos members, two of whom are believed to have helped carry out the crime that has shocked Mexico, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said.
A total of 56 people have now been arrested in connection with the abduction of 43 male teachers' college students, in crime-plagued Guerrero state.
The students went missing after an attack by police and Guerreros Unidos cartel hitmen in Iguala that also left another six of their classmates dead and 25 wounded on September 26. Authorities still have not located the students.
Murillo Karam said the four arrested Monday were the first to have confessed that they took part in the "abduction and ultimate fate of this large group of people."
"Today, we have the people who carried out the abduction of these individuals," he told reporters.
He said the other two detained Monday apparently were involved as lookouts for the cartel. The suspects were not immediately identified.
President Enrique Pena Nieto meanwhile said he had met in Mexico City with Guerrero's new interim governor Rogelio Martinez.
The president said all public safety agencies would meet Tuesday with Martinez and work on "measures to restore order and bring back public safety."
Federal authorities accuse on-the-run Iguala mayor Jose Luis Abarca of ordering the attack to prevent the students from disturbing an event held by his wife as president of the local child protection institution.
A Guerreros Unidos leader said after his arrest that he had thought the students were part of a rival criminal gang. He therefore approved armed actions "in defence" of his territory.