MEXICO CITY (AP) — Three police officers and four suspected drug gang members were killed in an extended, raging gun battle in western Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.

The attorney general's office in the western state of Jalisco said the gang involved in Tuesday's firefight had nine guns, including a .50-caliber rifle. Four officers are recovering from wounds suffered in the shootout in a town near the city of Guadalajara.

Two have been released and two are in stable condition at a local hospital.

The office said the assailants holed up in a house and tossed hand grenades at police after the suspects were spotted using drugs on a nearby street.

Army troops showed up to help secure the area.

The region has been hit by bloody drug cartel turf battles, often involving the Jalisco New Generation drug gang.

Also Wednesday, authorities in the neighboring state of Michoacan said the police chief of the town of Puruandiro was found shot to death by unidentified assailants on a roadway.

The police chief, Jose Alfredo Magana Herrera, was driving his own sport utility vehicle when the attack occurred. Police did not see the assailants, but found 44 shell casings around the shot-up vehicle, mostly of the caliber used for assault rifles.

The dominant drug cartel in Michoacan, the Knights Templar cartel, has been involved in a running dispute with Jalisco New Generation.

But the Knights Templar are also believed to have been involved in the killings of a number of police chiefs and other officials in Michoacan.

 

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