By Lizbeth Diaz
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Security forces repelled an attack by suspected criminals armed with AK-47s and other weapons in a mountainous area of central Mexico, killing all 10 of the assailants, authorities said on Tuesday.
The attack occurred while a group of police and soldiers were on patrol in Mexico state, west of the capital, according to a Mexico state government statement. Only the Army is authorized to use the AK-47 and AR-15 rifles allegedly used by the attackers.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, a former governor of Mexico state who took office in December, has vowed to curb the drug-related violence that raged under his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.
Calderon launched a military offensive against drug cartels when he took office in late 2006, but instead of reducing the violence, it increased. In December, the Mexican government estimated that some 70,000 people had died as a result of the drug war during Calderon's six years in power.
(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Paul Simao)