GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Seven state police officers and four attackers were killed in a shootout in the northwestern state of Sinaloa on Monday, in the latest deadly incident in the country.
Gunmen ambushed the police officers as they returned from the town of Choix, whose municipal police chief was murdered last month, the BBC reported.
Sinaloa Governor Mario Lopez Valdez announced last week that federal police forces would take over security duties in the town, where CNN Mexico said 21 people were killed in clashes between police and rival drug gangs in May alone.
Local authorities recently issued a warning to residents to stay indoors at night to avoid exposing themselves to the “rain” of bullets as gangs battle for control of drug routes to the United States.
Sinaloa state is the stronghold of the powerful drug cartel of the same name, which is headed by Mexico’s most wanted man, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, Reuters reported.
According to the Associated Press, the Pacific coast state has seen a surge in violence recently as Sinaloa fights the Beltran Leyva drug gang.
More than 55,000 people have been killed since sitting President Felipe Calderon stepped up an offensive against the drug cartels in 2006.
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