MEXICO CITY, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Mexican police have shot dead six suspected members of a criminal gang in the suburbs of Tepic, capital of the western state of Nayarit, local authorities announced on Saturday.
The shootout happened on Friday, when police located and surrounded a group of armed men along a highway, shortly after the gang had fired at two houses in Tepic and the neighboring town of Xalisco.
The Nayarit secretariat of public security issued a statement explaining that the men got out of two trucks and a car and opened fire on the police with assault rifles.
After shooting the six gunmen on a highway southwest of Tepic, the officers found two kidnapped women and a man inside the vehicles.
The 28-year-old man had been kidnapped a few hours earlier in Tepic, while the two women, aged 19 and 21, had spent four months in captivity.
"They had been held for four months, approximately, by this criminal group, being molested, raped, and forced to accompany them in their illegal acts," stated the police.
Nayarit, a popular state with tourists, has been suffering from an increase in drug-related violence recently.