By Sierra Juarez
JALISCO, Mexico (AA) - At least 13 Mexican police were killed in Michoacan, Mexico on Monday, according to the country’s federal Public Security Ministry.
Local authorities say the police were going to the central town of El Aguaje to issue a warrant when a group of gunmen shot the police and set their vehicles on fire. Photographs of the incident circulated on social media.
Some of the photographs showed signs, which were allegedly from the cartel group Jalisco New Generation Cartel. The signs were reportedly warning police officers to not support other criminal organizations.
The western state of Michoacan has for years been known as a battle zone between cartels. Violence has increased within recent months.
In August, there was a massacre in the state. Police found 19 bodies, some hanging from bridges. Authorities have said the recent killings are a result of warring cartel groups. There are at least four cartels operating in the region, according to the attorney general.
Local security officials said 13 police officers died in the most recent attack, but the country’s Public Security Ministry tweeted that they now count 14 officers. The ministry has condemned the attacks.
“We are in communication and are making all of our human and technological resources available to the state government in order to find the aggressors and bring them to justice,” said the Public Security Ministry in a tweet.