CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Authorities in the capital of Mexico's most violent state, Chihuahua, have indefinitely banned popular music group Los Tigres del Norte for playing drug ballads at a concert.

Songs glorifying drug traffickers, known as narcocorridos, have attracted a growing following in recent years from Mexico City to Los Angeles.

Los Tigres del Norte, a successful mainstream group, were banned from playing in the city of Chihuahua "for playing three songs at the weekend which defended crimes," Javier Torres, an official from the city hall, told AFP Tuesday.

The group included some of their well-known drug ballads during concerts in Chihuahua and the border city of Ciudad Juarez at the weekend.

They announced on their Twitter account that they were surprised by the ban because they were not aware that drug ballads were prohibited there.

The city official said that the group had been warned three months ago that the songs had been prohibited "to avoid clashes or the worship of criminals."

Authorities in other violent areas, including northwestern Sinaloa state and the border city of Tijuana, have also attempted to clamp down on the ballads in recent years, amid their rising popularity.

The ballads are part of a decades-old drug culture but a new wave of narcocorrido is more gruesome than ever with accounts of bloody clashes with security forces, reflecting the growing drug violence in Mexico.