Mexico Police Kill 19 Gunmen in Sinaloa Shootout

State police guard the area after a gun battle with Mexican Marines in which a suspect identified by authorities as the leader of the Beltran Leyva cartel, Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez and several accomplices died in the exchange, in Tepic, Nayarit state, Mexico, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. The Interior Department said that Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez headed up the cartel’s operations in the state of Nayarit and in the southern part of Jalisco state. (AP Photo/Chris Arias)

Mexican police say they have killed 19 gunmen in a shootout in the northern state of Sinaloa.

Five police officers were injured in the confrontation.

It started on Friday night in the town of Villa Union and ended after a multiple car chase in Aguaje, a few kilometres away – both in Mazatlán.

The region has seen fierce in-fighting in the powerful Sinaloa drugs cartel since the arrest of its leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, last year.

This was one of the worst clashes in the south of Sinaloa in recent months, local media reported.

The gunmen had just killed two men from a rival gang when they were surprised by a large contingent of police who happened to be in the neighbourhood.

They alerted army troops in the area, who chased the alleged gang members and caught up with them in Aguaje de Costilla.

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SOURCE: BBC News