Mexico: 19 killed in clashes near beach city of Mazatlan


At least 19 people died in clashes between armed men and security forces in the gang-plagued northwestern state of Sinaloa, Mexican authorities said Saturday.

A statement from the State Prosecutor’s Office said two people were killed in an initial shooting Friday involving “rival groups” of gunmen in the town of Villa Union, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of the beach resort of Mazatlan.

“It is presumed that this is the place where the chase began,” the statement said.

In a second clash, 15 municipal police officers came under attack on a highway by 19 people riding in pickup trucks.

Marines and state police went to the aid of the municipal police, and 17 attackers were killed. Five municipal policemen suffered light wounds, it said.

Sinaloa is the birthplace of a number of Mexico’s drug gang leaders, and killings have risen recently following the capture of Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was extradited to the United States earlier this year to face drug charges.