SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Salvadoran officials say they have recovered dozens of bodies from a clandestine burial ground believed to have been used by criminal gangs.

The head of the attorney general's organized crime unit says authorities have found 24 bodies and expect to find at least 20 more.

Rodolfo Delgado says two old men, three children and several presumed members of street gangs have been found in several mass graves about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the capital. Authorities believe the bodies were dumped by an offshoot of the Barrio 18 street gang.

Delgado said Wednesday that the discovery of the bodies supports prosecutors' belief that a 2012 truce between Salvadoran street gangs was not having a real effect on killings in the country. Many government officials and independent experts disagree.