July 1 (UPI) — At least 19 members of rival gangs died in a shootout with police in Mexico’s western Sinaloa state, state prosecutors said.
The clashes resulted in injuries to five police officers Friday night.
The confrontation started around 8:15 p.m., when members of one gang allegedly killed two people from a rival gang in Villa Union. Police then chased the gunmen and engaged in a shootout in Aguaje, where 17 gang members were killed.
Police seized some two dozen weapons and three vans from the gang members.
Both local and state police investigated the shootout.
Violence in Sinaloa state has surged in the past several months after the extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. His transfer to the United States has created a leadership vacuum.
There were 120 murders in the state this February, up from an average monthly murder rate of 92 for the previous six years.