MEXICO CITY, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Mexican troops shot four armed men dead during a firefight in the northwestern state of Sinaloa Wednesday morning, local authorities said.
Cristobal Castaneda, Sinaloa's undersecretary for public security, told a press conference that police received reports of gunshots at 4:55 a.m. local time (1055 GMT) in an events hall in Culiacan, the capital city of Sinaloa.
Castaneda said that the shootout seemingly began when the armed gang members opened fire on a routine patrol by soldiers in the area.
After the place was secured, authorities seized six rifles, four handguns and two vehicles, which were turned over to the office of the prosecutor-general.
Castaneda added that the identities of the four dead men were not known and the authorities did not specify whether any event was taking place in the hall at the moment of the gunfight.
A number of criminal cells which make up the Sinaloa cartel use the Pacific state as a base of operations to produce, transport and sell drugs. Castaneda said Sinaloa had seen 87 murders in 2018 so far.